Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary Spencer Collier was terminated from his position by Gov. Robert Bentley on Tuesday after an internal investigation revealed a number issues within the ALEA including a “possible misuse of state funds.”
Though the details in Bentley’s announcement this evening were scant, it came only hours after acting ALEA Secretary Stan Stabler made a similar announcement about the results of the same internal investigation.According to Stabler, the findings have already been submitted to the Alabama Attorney General’s Office for further action. The termination comes just more than a year after Collier was appointed to lead the charge of consolidating the state’s law enforcement agencies into a single entity.
“Spencer Collier and I have served together a long time, dating back to my time in the Alabama House of Representatives. He is a friend of mine,” Bentley said. “After an internal review, the ALEA Integrity Unit found a number of issues, including possible misuse of state funds. I am disappointed to learn these facts, and today, I relieved Spencer Collier of his duties as ALEA Secretary.”Governor Bentley also announced that Stabler had been appointed to serve as Collier’s full-time replacement as of March 22. Stabler has held the position on a temporary basis since Feb. 17, when Collier was placed on medical leave.
At the time, Bentley’s office said the leave was due to a back surgery, but later the Governor confirmed reports Collier was placed on leave after disobeying a direct order from Bentley not to submit a court testimony denying an ALEA investigation into allegations against Assistant Attorney General Matt Hart.
Hart has been leading the prosecution of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard, who was indicted in late 2014 on 23 counts of using his office for personal gain. According to statewide reports, Hart sought the affidavit from Collier after Hubbard’s legal team accused him of leaking testimony from a Lee County grand jury.
According to Stabler, the Attorney General’s office will now have the discretion of pursuing whatever charges, if any, stem from the discoveries made in the ALEA’s internal investigation.
“Over the past month, I worked closely with my staff to evaluate all aspects of ALEA, address agency issues and implement changes which have already resulted in more than $250,000 in savings,” Stabler said in a statement this afternoon. “My priority as ALEA’s Secretary remains the same – to carry out the mission of the agency and ensure our law enforcement officers and support staff honorably provide service, protection, and safety for all of our citizens.”