Gov. Robert Bentley’s press office released a statement Wednesday afternoon announcing the resignation of Rebekah Mason, only a week after other state officials made public comments about a long-rumored affair between her and the governor.
In a press conference last week, Bentley admitted and apologized for having “inappropriate conversations” with Mason, but said he never had a “physical affair” with her.Recordings released to statewide media — supposedly by members of Bentley’s family — have made public multiple phone conversations between the two, including discussions of the governor’s “love” for Mason.
In her only previous statement on the matter, Mason also denied any involvement in a physical affair with the governor. She described allegations made by former Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary Spencer Collier as “gender bias.”
Speaking publicly for the first time since then, Mason announced her resignation from Bentley’s office on Wednesday afternoon via an email from the governor’s press secretary Jennifer Ardis.“I have resigned as Senior Political Advisor to Governor Bentley and will no longer be paid from his campaign fund. I have also ended my work with the Alabama Council For Excellent Government,” she said in the statement. “My only plans are to focus my full attention on my precious children and my husband who I love dearly. They are the most important people in my life. Thank you for your prayers for our family.”
The Alabama Council For Excellent Government is a 501-(c)(4) nonprofit corporation started by Bentley’s former legal adviser, Cooper Shattuck in 2015. Because of its nature, those who fund it with donations are unknown.
Though Mason’s current compensation hasn’t been confirmed, State Auditor Jim Zeigler suggested she received $312,000 from Bentley’s re-election campaign in 2014 and another $15,000 from ACEGOV the same year.
Those numbers were laid out in a complaint to the Alabama Ethics Commission Zeigler filed against Bentley and Mason last week after allegations of the scandal broke.
As of now, there’s been reports of Mason’s husband, Jon Mason, leaving his position as the executive director of the governor’s Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives (Serve Alabama).
According to records available through open.alabama.gov, Jon Mason is paid a $91,400 salary through the position.