ALEA confirms state aircraft was used to bring Gov. Bentley his - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

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ALEA confirms state aircraft was used to bring Gov. Bentley his wallet

Source: WSFA video Source: WSFA video
An ALEA helicopter in the ALEA hangar in Montgomery. Source: Matt Kennedy/WBRC An ALEA helicopter in the ALEA hangar in Montgomery. Source: Matt Kennedy/WBRC
An ALEA airplane in the ALEA hangar in Montgomery. Source: Matt Kennedy/WBRC An ALEA airplane in the ALEA hangar in Montgomery. Source: Matt Kennedy/WBRC
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) has confirmed that they used a state aircraft to pick up Governor Robert Bentley's wallet and fly it down to him at his home in Fort Morgan back in December of 2014.

"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,” said Stan Stabler.

Stabler is now the head of ALEA but at the time, he was one of Bentley's bodyguards.

"The Dignitary Protection Unit of ALEA does what is necessary to protect and safeguard its protectees and provide assistance to ensure protectees are fully prepared to perform their duties as constitutional officers," Stabler said. " Often, items are relayed to protectees – whether it be files, a briefcase, medicine, etc.,”

Read the pertinent law requiring ALEA to protect the governor and Stabler's full statement below:

The Code of Alabama Section 36-33-2 charges the Department of Public Safety, now ALEA, with the duty of protecting the person of the governor and outlines requirements.  Furthermore, 36-33-2 (d) states: the director may use any personnel or equipment of the department for the protection or security, or both, of any protectee designated in this chapter, at any personal, political, official, campaign-related, or recreational event.

“The Dignitary Protection Unit of ALEA does what is necessary to protect and safeguard its protectees and provide assistance to ensure protectees are fully prepared to perform their duties as constitutional officers.  Often, items are relayed to protectees – whether it be files, a briefcase, medicine, etc.,” Secretary of Law Enforcement Stan Stabler said.  “In December 2014, I received notification from Governor Bentley that he traveled to his home in Fort Morgan and inadvertently left his wallet in Tuscaloosa. I contacted my chain of command and ultimately received approval from former Secretary Spencer Collier, to utilize ALEA’s aviation unit to pick-up and deliver the wallet to the Governor.  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.”

Former Secretary of ALEA Spencer Collier released this statement in response to the situation:

"During my tenure as Secretary of ALEA, I was notified on multiple occasions that Governor Bentley hurriedly left his residence in Tuscaloosa without security. On one occasion, Governor Bentley's whereabouts were unknown for several hours. On another occasion, Protective Services Chief Stan 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.

I was never informed about the wallet and did not approve the use of ALEA Aviation to retrieve it. The Chief of Protective Services 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.

These type 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 said in text messages to WBRC he was "shocked" at Stabler's statement that he authorized the use of aviation aircraft to get the governor's wallet. 

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