ALABAMA | AL-gov

Bentley Pressured Law Enforcement to Pursue His Critics

A state newspaper chain called him to resign.

March 30, 2016, 10:17 a.m.

Fal­lout from the re­la­tion­ship between Gov. Robert Bent­ley (R) and seni­or ad­viser Re­bekah Ma­son con­tin­ue to dom­in­ate Alabama polit­ics. “While the me­dia’s and pub­lic’s at­ten­tion has been primary fo­cused on the al­leged af­fair, Bent­ley’s real prob­lems are the is­sues be­fore law en­force­ment.”

“Bent­ley pres­sured law en­force­ment of­ficers to use fed­er­al and state re­sources to tar­get those crit­ic­al of his re­la­tion­ship with … Ma­son.  … Bent­ley ordered the use of the Na­tion­al Crime In­form­a­tion Cen­ter, (NCIC) and the Law En­force­ment Tac­tic­al Sys­tem (LETS) to find any in­crim­in­at­ing evid­ence that might be used against at­tor­ney Don­ald V. Watkins, and Leg­al Schnauzer blog­ger, Ro­ger Shuler. … Bent­ley ous­ted Trust­ees aligned Watkins from the Alabama State Uni­versity (ASU) Board in in 2014. … Watkins [last year] began writ­ing a reg­u­lar column post­ing in­crim­in­at­ing in­form­a­tion about Bent­ley and his re­la­tion­ship with Ma­son on Face­book. … Shuler … has writ­ten nu­mer­ous art­icles on Bent­ley and Ma­son.”

“Former Bent­ley ad­min­is­tra­tion in­siders say Bent­ley was so in­flamed by Watkins’ re­ports that he would rant about us­ing his power as Chief Ma­gis­trate to shut Watkins mouth and ru­in his repu­ta­tion. … Watkins … said in 2014 Bent­ley asked the SEC to in­vest­ig­ate his busi­nesses, even through they are not un­der SEC reg­u­la­tion. ‘That in­vest­ig­a­tion went nowhere,’ said Watkins. … ALEA was twice asked to con­duct a crim­in­al in­vest­ig­a­tion in­to Watkins.” (Alabama Polit­ic­al Re­port­er)

PAN­DORA’S BOX. It was also re­vealed Tues­day that the two “share a secret safe de­pos­it box at a Mont­gomery bank. … The ad­dresses on the box are the Gov­ernor’s Man­sion in Mont­gomery, and Mrs. Ma­son’s private res­id­ence in Tus­ca­loosa. The box was ini­tially opened on Tues­day, Janu­ary 5th of this year, and re­mains open as of this week.” (Yel­low­ham­mer News)

THERE’S THE DOOR. The Alabama Me­dia Group, which owns three ma­jor news­pa­pers in the state, wrote an ed­it­or­i­al call­ing for Bent­ley to resign. 

The ed­it­or­i­al: “It is tempt­ing to make this a one-sen­tence ed­it­or­i­al: Gov. Robert Bent­ley, you must resign. … Right now, only Gov. Bent­ley knows the ex­tent of his ac­tions. If he has vi­ol­ated the law, he should step down. … But, if the man elec­ted by the people to lead this state plans to stay, then he has a more dif­fi­cult task: to step up, come clean and rid him­self of the secrets and com­prom­ises cloud­ing his life, his ca­reer and the fu­ture of our state.”

SO LONG, FAIR WELL. Bent­ley and Ma­son have also left the First Baptist Church of Tus­ca­loosa.

Seni­or pas­tor Gil McK­ee on Fri­day: “I con­tin­ue to pray for each of them.” (Chris­ti­an News Net­work)

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