Governor Bentley Scandal: Timeline of Events

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Bentley Scandal Coverage_162812

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Governor Robert Bentley has been at the center of multiple allegations this past week. Included in those allegations is an alleged affair with his Senior Political Advisor, Rebekah Mason. With new information and statements coming out left and right, we wanted to help get you caught up on the events so far.

2010

Spring 2010 – Rebekah Mason hired as Robert Bentley’s campaign press secretary

November 2010 – Bentley beats Ron Sparks in the November General Election, becomes Governor of the state of Alabama.


2013

2013 – Mason becomes Bentley’s campaign spokesperson, removed from state payroll

April 5, 2013 – Spencer Collier is named Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) Secretary


2014

August 2014 – Rumors of affair arise, Collier claims Stan Stabler, then part of Governor Bentley Security Detail, saw inappropriate text to Mason on Bentley’s cell phone

  • Spencer Collier references this again on March 23, 2016 when he meets with the media, after being removed as ALEA Secretary:

    • “I saw the first change of Governor Robert Bentley August of 2014. I became aware of a text message that was sent from Mrs. Rebekah Mason to Governor Bentley. The text message was accidentally intercepted by Governor Bentley’s body man, his personal security. That man was Sergeant Stan Stabler. Sgt. Stabler accidentally picked up Governor Bentley’s cell phone as he left it in the Suburban and on the cell phone there was a text that was sexual in nature.”

November 2014 – Bentley beats Parker Griffith in General Election, reelected Governor of Alabama


2015

August 26, 2015 – Dianne Bentley files for divorceAugust 28 2015County Circuit Judge seals Bentley divorce documents

September 1, 2015 – Rep. Allen Farley filed paperwork with state AG’s office requesting an investigation into whether state funds were inappropriately used by Bentley

September 29, 2015


2016

February 17, 2016 – Collier placed on medical leave by Governor Bentley

March 22, 2016Governor fires Collier, citing ALEA internal report, Stan Stabler replaces Collier as ALEA Secretary

March 23, 2016During press conference, Collier accused Bentley of affair, misusing state resources

March 23, 2016Bentley denies sexual relationship with Mason, but does admit he made inappropriate comments to her. Vows he never misused state resources.March 23, 2016 – Rebekah Mason releases statement in response to Collier’s remarksMarch 23, 2016YellowHammer News publishes alleged audio recordings of Governor Robert Bentley speaking with Rebekah Mason

March 24, 2016 – House Democrats minority leader, Rep. Craig Ford, calls on Bentley to resignMarch 25, 2016 – Jon Mason, Rebekah’s husband, posts on his Facebook page that he “long ago resolved the personal issue playing out now”March 25, 2016 – State Auditor, Jim Zeigler, files ethics violation complaint against BentleyMarch 25, 2016New recordings released feature Bentley calling Mason by name

March 28th, 2016Complete audio recordings and transcripts between Bentley and Mason get released

Courtesy of Yellowhammer NewsMarch 28th, 2016 – It’s reported that there are at least two active investigations against Governor Bentley and his top aide, Rebekah MasonMarch 28th, 2016 – Bentley makes first public appearance since apology, promises not to resignMarch 29th, 2016Yellowhammer News reports that Bentley and Mason co-own secret safe deposit boxMarch 29th, 2016 – Alabama Ethics Commission opens investigation in Bentley-Mason allegationsMarch 29th, 2016College Republicans push for legislation if Governor Bentley refuses to step down

March 30th, 2016Rebekah Mason announces resignation from Bentley’s staff

March 30th, 2016 State Rep. Allen Farley claims Bentley attempted to talk his way out of a possible probe by the state AG into his alleged affair back in September of 2015.March 30th, 2016 – Rep. Ed Henry announces plans to introduce a resolution to begin impeachment proceedings against Bentley.April 1st, 2016 –Questions surface about “burner” cellphones listed on Bentley campaign finance reportsApril 4th, 2016 – Governor Bentley answers questions about the scandal while promoting his prison reform plan. Bentley: “I have asked God to forgive me”April 5th, 2016  Rep. Ed Henry, R-Hartselle, introduces articles of impeachmentBentley responds to the call for impeachment.April 6th, 2016  Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey says she has “plan in place” in case Bentley leaves office

In this Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014, file photo, Republican Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey poses for a portrait on 2014, in Montgomery, Ala. Ivey is seeking a second term Nov. 4 against former Democratic state Rep. James Fields. (AP Photo/Phillip Rawls, File)

April 6th, 2016  Bentley makes first appearance since calls for impeachmentApril 7th, 2016 – State Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow files ethics complaint against Rebekah MasonApril 8th, 2016  Peppered with questions about the scandal surrounding him while in Mobile to sign House Bill 34, a clearly frustrated Bentley responds heatedly to reportersApril 11th, 2016 – The push by some lawmakers to impeach Governor Bentley hits potential speed bumpApril 11th, 2016 – Spencer Collier tells WIAT CBS42 that he went to outside law enforcement immediately with his concerns over Governor Robert Bentley’s involvement in an investigation involving the Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives, Mike Hubbard.April 13th, 2016ALEA confirms state helicopter brought Gov. Bentley wallet

April 13th, 2016Franklin Graham meets with Governor Bentley while on nationwide prayer tour

April 14th, 2016 – Bentley denies instructing ALEA to bring wallet by helicopterApril 15th, 2016 – Bentley speaks out about a controversial trip to Las Vegas in November 2015

April 19th, 2016 – Spencer Collier, files civil lawsuit against Governor Bentley and others

April 19th, 2016Bentley responds to lawsuit filed against him by former ALEA secretary CollierApril 21st, 2016 – State representative, Johnny Mack Morrow, sends letter to Governor Bentley about “Wanda’s desk”April 21st, 2016 – State Auditor, Jim Zeigler, files order to compel Bentley to appear, testify under oathApril 22nd, 2016  Bentley releases response to Zeigler’s orderJuly 15th, 2016 – Jack Sharman is approved as special counsel for the impeachmentAugust 11th, 2016 – New audio is released by Yellowhammer News of a conversation between Bentley and Rep. Allen Farley (R. – Bessemer)September 27th, 2016 – Rules adopted for Governor Bentley impeachment proceedingsSeptember 29th, 2016 – Subpoenas are issued for Bentley, Mason, and a host of other organizations with alleged involvement in the reported relationshipOctober 20th, 2016 – Spencer Collier cleared of wrongdoing by the Alabama Attorney General’s office, investigation is closedNovember 3rd, 2016 – Impeachment proceedings are temporarily halted as AG Luther Strange conducts his own investigationNovember 23rd, 2016 – Former Bentley Security Chief Wendall Ray Lewis filed a lawsuit against Bentley claiming that the governor forced him to retire after he discovered an affairJanuary 20th, 2017 – Bentley attends Donald Trump’s inauguration alongside Rebekah Mason and her husbandFebruary 1st, 2017 – Expenditure details reveal that Rebekah Mason’s legal fees in the previous months were paid by Governor BentleyFebruary 9th, 2017 – Luther Strange is appointed to take Jeff Sessions’s vacant senate seat, a move political analyst Steve Flowers says “appears and looks like collusion”March 8th, 2017 – Bentley undergoes a “routine” heart procedure to treat atrial fibrillationMarch 8th, 2017 – Bentley’s impeachment probe is resumed after a unanimous decision from the House Judiciary CommitteeMarch 20th, 2017 – State Rep Ed Henry (R. – Hartselle) states that he believes that Bentley will resign from the position of Governor of Alabama by mid-AprilMarch 22nd, 2017 – Governor Bentley denies wrongdoing, and states that he will not be stepping down amid the impeachment investigationApril 5th, 2017 – The Ethics Commission finds probable cause against Bentley in four cases, and refers them to the DA’s office for legal actionApril 6th, 2017 – State Senate Leader Del Marsh calls for Bentley’s resignation, saying the governor is putting the state “under a cloud”


See the visual timeline for this here.

You can stay up to date on this continuing story on our Governor Bentley Scandal page.

Find documents and files referenced in some of the above posts here.

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