Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) directed a state law enforcement agency to help bring him his wallet — by helicopter — after an argument between the governor and his wife at the time, Al.com reported.
Bentley made the request after he “stormed out” of his home in Tuscaloosa and went to his beach home in Gulf Shores after arguing with Dianne Bentley, only to realize he left his wallet behind.
Bodyguard Stan Stabler was then dispatched to bring it back to him by using a helicopter procured through the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA). Stabler was subsequently appointed to lead the agency after Bentley’s alleged affair with senior political advisor Rebekah Mason came to light.
Stabler also confirmed the use of the state helicopter for the errand on Wednesday, noting that it took place in late 2014 and not last summer, as the political blog Yellowhammer News initially reported.
He also told WKRG-TV that his predecessor, Spencer Collier, was the one who decided to use the helicopter.
“Governor Bentley did not request a specific method be used to relay his wallet from Tuscaloosa to Fort Morgan – the decision to utilize department equipment to facilitate the request was made through ALEA’s chain of command, using standard agency protocol,” Stabler said.
However, Collier challenged that account in a statement, saying that he was not contacted regarding the incident because of an order by Bentley.
“I was never informed about the wallet and did not approve the use of ALEA Aviation to retrieve it. [Stabler] was given the authority by Governor Bentley to utilize aviation on behalf of the Governor without going up the chain of command to me and the Chief did so routinely,” the statement read. “These type of incidents and similar conduct by the Governor made the job of the hardworking men and women of ALEA Protective Services very difficult and often put them in awkward positions.”
Collier also said he was notified “on multiple occasions” during his tenure heading ALEA that Bentley left his Tuscaloosa home without having security with him.
“On one occasion, Governor Bentley’s whereabouts were unknown for several hours,” he said. “On another occasion, [Stabler] contacted me and stated that ‘We have lost the Governor.’ Later I was informed that Troopers or Special Agents with the Protective Services Unit located the Governor and escorted him to his private beach house on Ft. Morgan Road.”
Dianne Bentley filed for divorce from the governor last August, a process that was completed a month later. The reports of his alleged affair has led state Republican lawmakers to push for him to be impeached.