The Alabama Council for Excellent Government (ACEGOV) has reported raising little more than $90,000 in 2015.
The group reported expenses of a little more than $63,000, mostly for polling, web development and compensation including that of Rebekah Mason, Bentley’s former senior aide with whom he admitted to speaking inappropriately.
The donors however are unknown.
“The use of secret donors to pay a top adviser to the Governor has a corrupting influence, said Alabama State Auditor Jim Zeigler, a vocal critic of Bentley. “Who are the Governor and his then-top adviser accountable to? We may never know.”
Zeigler continued, “It appears that this arrangement is legal under IRS rules, but it may not be legal under Alabama ethics laws. A state official cannot receive over $25.00, and Mrs. Mason appears to have received way more than that from the secret group.
“A January ethics opinion appears to outlaw this type of activity. The opinion needs to be strictly applied.”
Mason resigned in March 2016 after criticism of her relationship with Bentley.