WELLINGTON, Carbon County — Wellington Police Chief Rory Bradley was fired in a city council meeting Friday following two weeks of unpaid leave after being accused of sexually abusing a city employee.
According to city attorney John Schindler, Rory Bradley was facing complaints for sexually abusing a city employee as well as retaliating against city employees.
During the recorded city council meeting, Schindler said that the first incident was in September 2019 when Bradley allegedly touched the city employee inappropriately and swatted her on the backside while attending a sexual harassment training in the Carbon County Administration building.
In March 2020, according to the Schindler, text messages were exchanged where the employee asked about a package that was to be picked up at the office to which Bradley responded “don’t talk about my package.” The text was authenticated by Bradley and he confirmed that he sent it, Schindler said.
The attorney continued saying, in May 2020, Bradley sent a text message to the employee which read: “you really think I’m an ugly ass cop??” “You know you are freaking smoking hot, you could wear a garbage bag and still be smokin. Really though, I really really like it.”
Schindler said that the employee alleged that Bradley took her on a ride-along in the morning hours, and at lunchtime he told her, “I will drop you off for lunch, go get something to eat and text me when you’re done, and I’ll come back and get you and you can show me your boobs.” As she walked away she alleged Bradley said, “how ’bout a burger to go with that shake?”
In another instance in July, text messages revealed that Bradley responded to a question by the employee with “only if you send nudie picks.”
Schindler continued outlining the timeline of behavior, stating that in October she alleged he had made gestures to her in the parking lot, and when asked what he meant he indicated that he wanted her to “flash him.” Again in October, in text messages reportedly authenticated by Bradley, he told the city employee at another request: “I only take payment in full-frontal nudity.”
In December, Bradley is accused of swatting the employee on the backside once more, and the conduct brought the attention of city officials including Mayor Paula Noyes, who elected to put Bradley on probation on Jan. 26, 2021.
In February 2021, a formal complaint was made to the city and to Peace Officer Standards and Training, POST. Bradley was also accused of filing counter-complaints against the complainant and two other city employees which the city deemed “unfounded.”
The letter reads in part: “This letter is to inform you of the issues I am facing currently in my place of employment. I would like to register a complaint against ### administrative assistant. I have been working here for 2.5 years now and I believe I have been very professional and diligent in my work.”
The letter went on to accuse the alleged victim of unprofessional and unethical behavior at work which Schindler said was unfounded. Additionally, Bradley complained that the alleged victim had touched him inappropriately at a work event on the buttocks and “vowed to retaliate when he denied her advances.”
The letter continues: “Never once did she indicate in any way that she was threatened by me or that I was harassing her. I am a professional and I have never had any allegations or reprimand in regards to any types of harassment in my 18 years of law enforcement.”
Bradley said in the letter that after the incident he apologized in writing. But he said that “after her advances towards me, her attitude shifted towards one of malice and contempt. She began to create stories and fabrications that in turn created anxiety and stress for myself and my family.”
First off I want to apologize to all of you. Like Nate said, I’ve never shied away from what I did. You have to know the relationship between me and the person who made this complaint. We were friends. We were good friends. I got her this job at Wellington City. The text messages, they were bad. My mom has seen the text messages, my wife has seen the text messages, my kids have seen the text messages — they’ve all forgiven me.
–Rory Bradley, former Wellington City police chief
Schindler read another text message exchange between the employee and Bradley. The employee said that she didn’t think she had done anything wrong, to which she said Bradley replied that she hadn’t and that he “jokes around a lot and sometimes it can be my biggest downfall.”
When it was Rory Bradley’s attorney Nate Nelson’s turn to speak, there was a heated back-and forth between the two lawyers. After a brief exchange, Nelson exclaimed, “You just did the same thing, it’s my turn. Do I get a turn? Do I get a turn? They all want to hear.” The crowd then cheered, and Nelson continued, “They listened to you, it’s my turn.”
Nelson argued that the letters against the alleged victim and two other city employees couldn’t legally count as retaliation because Bradley wasn’t a supervisor over the three women. In defense of the text messages, Nelson claimed that they were taken out of context and the victim’s responses were not read aloud.
“Those things are being taken out of context … I’m not saying it’s the correct way, and I’m not dismissing my client’s behavior, but what I am saying is it’s being taken out of context.”
Toward the end of the meeting, Bradley was able to speak.
“First off I want to apologize to all of you. Like Nate said, I’ve never shied away from what I did. You have to know the relationship between me and the person who made this complaint. We were friends. We were good friends. I got her this job at Wellington City. The text messages, they were bad. My mom has seen the text messages, my wife has seen the text messages, my kids have seen the text messages — they’ve all forgiven me.”
He continued saying that there was never any sexting and that the texts were “simply meant to be funny.”
After his remarks, the city council was able to vote despite Nelson’s protestations that a council member wasn’t present. The vote was 2 to 2, with Mayor Noyes breaking the tie to terminate Bradley.