After a long hiatus during which most Alabama political junkies were glued to the Mike Hubbard Becomes A Convict Show, our embarrassing and now politically-irrelevant Governor, Robert Bentley, is back on the air with all-new episodes.
Exciting, ain’t it?
This week Alabama Political Reporter caught Bentley at the Montgomery County Courthouse heading to testify before a grand jury impaneled last week. Bentley was followed by Stan Stabler, the former Bentley bodyguard elevated to Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary following Bentley’s decision to can former ALEA secretary Spencer Collier. Others testifying included J.T. Jenkins, who was Collier’s second-in-command at ALEA, and Ray Lewis, another former Bentley bodyguard who reportedly knows more than anyone about the details of the Love Guv’s affair with former senior advisor Rebekah Caldwell Mason.
The court impaneled the grand jury after a request from the same heavy-hitting prosecutors who nailed Mike Hubbard’s sorry ass to the wall. According to APR: “The prosecution was comprised of Attorney General Luther Strange, Deputy Attorney General Alice Martin, and Special Prosecutions Division Chief Matt Hart.”
I would not be getting much sleep if I were Bentley, Stabler, Mason, or Mason’s clearly-complicit husband Jon Mason. The wolves aren’t at their door yet but surely they can hear the howling.
For those of you who need a recap of last season’s episodes, there is a veritable smorgasbord of potential illegal activity that the grand jury may be investigating. There is the potential use of aircraft and other state assets to conduct, further, or cover-up the Mason-Bentley affair. There is the strange management re-shuffling at ALEA and the closing of several ethics investigations into Alabama legislators. There is the firing of Spencer Collier. There is possible obstruction of justice based on Bentley’s allegedly ordering Collier not to cooperate with the AG’s office during the Hubbard prosecution. There are questions surrounding how Mason and her husband were paid by the state of Alabama. There are more questions about the dark money organization that paid Mason to be Bentley’s advisor and the source of those funds. There is Collier’s claim that the governor ordered him to use state-owned databases to dig up dirt on political opponents like Donald Watkins and Roger Shuler (Collier says he refused, but who knows?).
John Archibald over at AMG’s AL.com says that the secrecy surrounding grand jury proceedings means that we cannot possibly know what the grand jury is or is not investigating. He’s right about that, but I would not be surprised if the culmination of this grand jury’s investigation is a bunch of indictments on all of the above plus more the public currently doesn’t know anything about.
And I would be willing to bet that Governor Robert Bentley will find himself on the wrong end of one of those indictments.
Time to start binge-watching As The Boob-Grabber Turns again. If you’re going in the kitchen, grab me some potato chips, wouldja?