“Nothing is being hidden. Everything is open”
So says Governor Robert Bentley, but it seems as if little is open or transparent about his administration.
The Governor’s deputy legal advisor this week denied a media request for e-mails between Bentley and his political advisor and alleged mistress Rebekah Mason for the governor’s state and personal accounts.
The denial read “This request is not subject to the Alabama Open Records Act”
Speaking to reporters Thursday night in Montgomery, Bentley denied that denial!
“All of that is public record,” the Governor said. “All they have to do is go ask the person who either sent me the email that is public, or received an email from me. That is public record.”
The Governor also addressed communication that may have taken place between the two on disposable cell phones.
News-5 reported seven weeks ago that Bentley campaign funds were used in 2015 to buy $1,732 in disposable “cell phones and prepaid wireless” – so called hard-to-trace “burner phones.” Published reports quote a Tuscaloosa Best Buy employee as saying Bentley bought the phones himself.
Fired ALEA Director Spencer Collier has said that the Governor did not like to send e-mails, but frequently texted and often changed phones.
“The campaign has bought some cell phones but they are not disposable,” Bentley said. “We don’t have flip phones, disposable cell phones, that was all just a rumor. I don’t know who came up with that.”
But the Governor says he does know who came up with the idea of making his staff sign confidentiality agreements and it wasn’t him.
“I did not do that.” Bentley told News-5 Saturday in Spanish Fort. “That was done by my chief of staff, my new chief of staff at that time Seth Hammett. He did a lot of changes.”
The practice began in August-2014 just days after the Governor reportedly found out about the sexually graphic audio recordings of him talking to Mason.
87 staff members ended up signing the documents.