By Tyler Pruett
MONTGOMERY, Ala— In a strange sequence of events on Wednesday, Governor Robert Bentley admitted to making inappropriate comments to long-time staffer and advisor Rebekah Mason. The secretly recorded phone conversations were made public by the former Law Enforcement Secretary Spencer Collier, who was fired earlier in the week for potential misuse of state funds.
In an interview with the AP, Collier said that Bentley confided in him that he was, “madly in love” with Mason and that when he confronted Bentley about the relationship, “Gov. Robert Bentley simply hung his head and asked for advice on how to get out of it.”
The phone conversation was recorded as part of a family investigation of the relationship in 2014. In the recording, which was made public today, Bentley can be heard making inappropriate comments in a phone call in which the other party is widely believed to be Mason.
Though Bentley has denied any physical relationship, in a press conference earlier today, he admitted to saying, “some inappropriate things.” He also took the time to apologize to his family and the citizens of Alabama, saying, “Today I want to apologize to the people of the state of Alabama, and once again, I want to apologize to my family. I am truly sorry and accept full responsibility.”
Mason, having served in many roles close to Bentley for years, did not address allegations of a physical relationship or Bentley’s behavior, but responded to claims made by Collier that she, “wields extraordinary influence within the governor’s office.” In a statement, Mason accused the former top-cop of gender bias and that he wouldn’t be making those comments if she were a man.