Governor Robert Bentley says he did not have a physical relationship with a top advisor and allegations of an affair are not true or accurate. But the governor says he did make inappropriate comments to her which was a mistake.
That’s in response to the former director of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Spencer Collier, who held a press conference earlier Wednesday detailing an alleged affair between Bentley and a top advisor, Rebekah Mason. Bentley fired Collier Tuesday saying an ongoing investigation revealed possible misuse of funds within the agency.
Collier said he heard an audio recording supplied by a family member that consisted of Bentley and Mason having a sexual conversation. Bentley says he has been made aware of the tape but he has not heard it.
“I’m sure that I have, at that time, I said some inappropriate things and I know that I did that,” says Bentley. He says he has apologized to his family and Mason’s family. Bentley says he’s asking for forgiveness from those involved and the people of Alabama.
Bentley says he has not done anything illegal and has not asked anyone to lie. He says he has not considered stepping down.
“The people of Alabama have twice elected me. I have been completely honest with the people of Alabama, and I’m being honest today,” says Bentley. “I stand before you and stand before the people of this state and say I made a mistake.”
Collier also says ALEA director Stan Stabler discovered a text of a “sexual nature” while part of the governor’s security detail two years ago which brought the alleged affair to Collier’s attention. Stabler says he didn’t find such a text.
Esther Ciammachilli and Rachel Osier Lindley also contributed to this report.