News 5 has learned a special grand jury has been impaneled in Montgomery County believed to be looking into wrong-doing in Governor Robert Bentley’s administration. Sources in Montgomery and first hand published reports reveal the Governor has testified before the panel.
Also, current Alabama Law Enforcement Chief Stan Stabler and other members of that agency are believed to have appeared before the grand jury. Alabama Political Reporter.com first reported the news of the special grand jury and appearances by Bentley, Stabler and others.
Court records show Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange’s office filed a motion in Montgomery Circuit Court to impanel the special grand jury. That happened in May. A circuit court judge ordered the grand jury to convene on Monday, July 11.
Grand juries are bound by secrecy laws so testimony before the panel won’t be known. But it is believed this could be a continuation of the A.G.’s probe into state government corruption. A special division of the Attorney General’s office focused on white-collar crime recently successfully prosecuted now former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard.
Sources in Montgomery believe the panel could specifically be looking into the use of state resources in the Governor’s effort to cover-up his reported affair with his then top advisor Rebekah Mason.
State Representative Ed Henry of Hartselle, who filed articles of impeachment against the governor during the past legislative session, issued a statement saying he was gratified to learn of the criminal probe.
The Governor’s office responded to News 5’s calls for comment by saying the Governor could not comment on grand jury proceedings.
If the panel finds any wrong-doing, it will likely not be known until indictments are issued, which could take weeks.