Local legislative delegation reacts to governor’s aide scandal


 By Sarrah Peters

News Editor

Last week recordings surfaced of Governor Robert Bentley talking in a sexual manner to his top political advisor Rebekah Mason on the telephone. The recordings, leaked on www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2016/03/hear_recording_that_helped_put.html, allow listeners to hear only Bentley’s side of the conversation. Even one-sided Bentley’s comments are obviously sexual in nature with inappropriate remarks.

The recordings seem to confirm the allegations made by former Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Chief Spencer Collier, who was fired after an internal investigation found possible misuse of state dollars, that Bentley and Mason had an affair. Bentley denies that a physical affair occurred.

Now allegations that Bentley used state funds to cover up his affair are being investigated. 

In the wake of the scandal, many have called for the resignation of Gov. Bentley, including the College Republican Federation of Alabama, the Montgomery County Republican Party, Alabama’s Republican State Executive Committee member Terry Dunn, Republican Representative Danny Garrett of Trussville, Republican Alabama Senator Shay Shelnut of Trussville, Republican Alabama Senator Bill Holtzclaw of Madison, Democratic Representative Johnny Mack Morrow of Red Bay and Republican Representative David Standridge of Hayden.

Alabama legislators representing Etowah County have also weighed in on the scandal surrounding Governor Robert Bentley.

“I love the governor and I’m praying for him, but I love Alabama and he’s got to do what’s best for our state,” said District 30 House Representative Mack Butler to The Montgomery Advisor, asking Bentley to step down.

“That is my governor, and until recently that was my top state law enforcement officer. Without question or equivocation I am called in 1Timothy 2 to pray for them. I have been doing so, and will continue to do so,” said District 10 State Senator Phil Williams in a statement he released on Facebook, but he did not call for Bentley to step down.

“No one rejoices in the downfall of another person. Accusations have been made against the highest law enforcement officer in Alabama by the man who hired him, while the governor has been accused of using his office to cover up his relationship with Rebekah Mason-the same governor who said, ‘If you’re not a Christian, you are not my brother,” said House Minority Leader Craig Ford responding to the allegations against Bentley. 

“I don’t see how Gov. Bentley can continue to serve in office with all that has happened. I believe he should step down, and that Spencer Collier and the other law enforcement who were fired or transferred should be reinstated and given their jobs back,” said Ford.

District 29 State Representative Becky Nordgren could not be reached for comment.

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