According to documents filed by attorneys for former senior advisor to the governor, Rebekah Mason, the Tuscaloosa resident may be under criminal investigation for her role in the possibility of misusing state funds during an alleged affair with Governor Robert Bentley.
The filings were made Wednesday in Montgomery County Circuit Court and are related to the wrongful termination lawsuit filed by former Alabama Law Enforcement Agency director Spencer Collier.
The lawsuit named four other defendants besides the Bentley campaign (Bentley for Governor, Inc.) Gov. Bentley himself, new ALEA Secretary Stan Stabler, Rebekah Mason, and the group through which she was paid, the Alabama Council for Excellent Government.
Both Mason and Bentley’s campaign lawyers have filed motions to stay the lawsuit, denying each allegation, and saying many of them are too vague to be heard in court.
But in the stay filed by Mason, her lawyers argue that documents and testimony during the discovery phase of the civil lawsuit could unwittingly violate her 5th amendment right to not self-incriminate.
The stay is requested based “Upon information and belief, Mrs. Mason is, or may be, the subject of ongoing criminal investigations relating to, among other things, her prior employment as a Senior Political Advisor to Defendant Governor Robert Bentley… The allegations and issues presented in Plaintiff Spencer Collier’s Complaint and the believed areas of criminal investigation overlap and focus on the same alleged conduct.”
“Any testimony that Mrs. Mason might give or documents she might produce in this matter could potentially be used against her in connection with the ongoing criminal investigations,” the motion continues.
Bentley’s campaign lawyers filed a motion in May to dismiss the lawsuit. This week a lawyer for Bentley asked the July 26th court date set for the hearing be moved to avoid interfering with vacation plans.
The governor has maintained his own innocence throughout the months following Collier’s allegations. Efforts to impeach Bentley have thus far fallen short, facing opposition in the Alabama Legislature.