Mediation is ahead for Spencer Collier and former Alabama Governor Robert Bentley in an attempt to resolve Collier’s termination.
Collier, former head of the state’s Law Enforcement Agency, was fired by Bentley in March 2016. He filed a defamation lawsuit against the former governor, Rebekah Mason, and others. The judge overseeing the case ordered the parties to mediation and appointed mediators to facilitate the process.
The parties have 14 days to contact the mediators and schedule the first mediation session within 45 days of the judge’s order. Should mediation be unsuccessful, the case is set to go to trial in September.
According to lawyers representing Collier, mediation is common in cases such as this and “judges are always trying to encourage parties to settle…” Bentley’s attorneys did not comment.
Collier was secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency from 2013 to 2016 when the governor fired him. The next day, Collier accused Bentley of having an affair with Rebekah Mason, who was serving as the governor’s top advisor at the time.
From there, a scandal exploded and Bentley was forced to resign the office of governor in April 2017 following an impeachment investigation. Probable cause was established by the state’s Ethics Commission.
Collier filed his lawsuit against the former governor and Mason, as well as other people, in the spring of 2016 and has been waiting to move forward with the suit since then. Now that the lawsuit is in mediation, it is likely some progress will be made but whether or not the two sides can come to a final resolution remains to be seen.