Bentley's "House Of Fraud" Is Collapsing
By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on May 26, 2016
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on May 26, 2016
Federal investigators are closing in on Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and his widespread criminal racketeering enterprise. This enterprise operates straight out of the governor's office. It was first reported in an exclusive series of investigative articles titled, "Forbidden Love" and "Executive Betrayal", which were published on this Facebook page in September and October 2015.
The end of Bentley's criminal enterprise is rapidly approaching. His "House of Fraud" is collapsing. Bentley will be indicted and tried on federal racketeering and public corruption charges.
Earlier this month, Bentley lost a protective law enforcement shield that was provided to him by Montgomery U.S. Attorney George Beck, Jr., a staunch Bentley ally. Beck's entire office has been removed from the ongoing criminal investigation by the Department of Justice ("DOJ") in Washington, acting in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney in Atlanta. Beck's coziness with the Bentley Administration disappointed the public, infuriated his staff, and was eventually too much for the DOJ to bear.
Mike Echols, Bentley's long-time personal CPA and heavy hitting moneyman for the governor's 2010 and 2014 campaigns, split from Bentley last year. Echols, who is a respected Tuscaloosa accountant, handled the financial books and records for both the Bentleys and the governor's campaign committee. Echols resigned his post rather than participate in fraudulent money-laundering schemes concocted by Bentley to benefit his mistress/lover/partner in crime, Rebekah Mason.
Bentley dodged opportunities to testify under oath in the 2015 divorce case. He also refused to appear before State Auditor Jim Ziegler on May 2nd to testify under oath regarding questionable expenditures made by the governor's office in furtherance of his public corruption activities.
Bentley has hired high-powered Montgomery criminal attorney Joe Espy to handle his criminal case.
In March 2016, the Alabama Council for Excellent Government ("ACEGov"), Bentley's 501(c)(4) slush fund for channeling "dark money" to Rebekah Mason, essentially shut down. Federal investigators have subpoenaed the financial records of this "girlfriend" fund. In 2015, Mason received payments from ACEGov without the knowledge or approval of its board of directors.
In March 2016, Bentley fired Spencer Collier, the former head of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, for refusing the governor's direct order to lie to state prosecutors in House Speaker Mike Hubbard's criminal case and for refusing to use federal criminal databases to harass and retaliate against online journalists Roger Alan Shuler and me. Collier is cooperating with federal investigators.
Chief of staff Seth Hammett, executive assistant Wanda Kelly, chief of executive security Wendell Ray Lewis, communications director Jennifer Ardis, and a host of other staffers have also departed the governor's office in what can only be described as an orderly exodus. Remaining staffers are quietly looking for other jobs. They all think the governor is erratic, delusional, and paranoid. Bentley, who is a known habitual liar, has already started blaming some of the departing staff members for his misdeeds.
Mike Hubbard, one of Bentley's political allies in the legislature, is on trial in Lee County on 23 counts of ethics and public corruption charges. Senate President Del Marsh, another Bentley ally, has been swept up in Bentley's prison construction plan, which was nothing more than a massive "Trojan horse" fraud scheme.
Bentley's wife, children and longtime friends are gone. The governor turned his back on all of them so that he could devote his "love" and attention to Rebekah, and romance her on tax dollars, state resources, and donor money.
"Human shield" legislators, led by State Rep. Alvin Holmes (D-Montgomery), were unsuccessful in stopping an impeachment resolution during the closing days of the 2016 session of the legislature. The impeachment process will move forward.
Chief Justice Roy Moore, Bentley's most trusted Alabama Supreme Court ally, has been suspended from the bench. Moore, who is a repeat offender with the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission, was recently kicked off the High Court for the second time in 13 years because he directed Alabama probate judges to disregard a 2015 landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling recognizing same-sex marriages.
David Byrne, Bentley's chief legal adviser, has lawyered the governor into one of the worst legal nightmares in gubernatorial history. In 2009, Byrne was the executive vice president and general counsel who presided over the multi-billion dollar collapse of Colonial Bank.
All of the state's major newspapers have called for Bentley's resignation, which he has refused to give. AL.com initially tried to support Bentley after his "sex for power" scandal became public in 2015, but finally joined the call for Bentley's resignation in March. Chuck Dean, AL.com's beat reporter for the governor's office, was listed as a customer of Ashley Madison, the marital cheating website. Hard-hitting investigative articles by veteran journalists John Archibald and Kyle Whitmire have replaced Dean's powder puff stories on Bentley and his friend Rebekah Mason.
Bentley's Tuscaloosa church has kicked Rebekah and the governor out as members. Bentley's corporate friends and supporters have politely distanced themselves from him.
And, Rebekah – the love of Bentley's life - is reportedly cooperating with federal authorities. This married mother of three young children is desperately trying to stay out of jail.
Bentley says God has forgiven him. The governor intends to serve out his term in office. In his mind, Bentley believes he is on a Holy mission to lead Alabama.
The end is near.
Donald V. Watkins