City Council Votes to Terminate Wellington Police Chief


During a heated council meeting on Friday evening, the Wellington City Council gave a majority vote for the termination of Wellington City Police Chief Rory Bradley. The council chambers were packed with Wellington City residents to hear the reasons outlined for termination.

The Friday meeting was a special meeting called by the council with the purpose of a personnel action review of Bradley. All council members were in attendance with the exception of Garritt Pell. Bradley and his father, who both serve on the council, were present.

The meeting began by deciding if the discussion would take place in a public forum or as an executive session closed to the community. Bradley consulted with his lawyer and they decided that the meeting could continue in a public form.

Wellington City Attorney John Schindler addressed the council first, reading from a document intended to give Bradley notice of intent to discipline by terminating employment on the basis that he retaliated following complaints against him. Schindler continued by outlining the reasons for the intent to terminate.

“Notice is herby given that Wellington City intends to formally discipline you by terminating your employment with Wellington City effective immediately,” Schindler read. “This notice of intent does not constitute a formal disciplinary action but outlines the reason Wellington City intends to take disciplinary action against you.”

Schindler continued reading the notice of intent, stating that Bradley had the right to respond to the notice. It also stated that Bradley was not to retaliate against the three women that filed complaints or any others that assisted or were involved in the investigation of the allegations.

Attorney Schindler then took time to outline the investigations and allegations against Bradley, saying that a third-party investigator became involved. The investigation took place in February and March of this year. Schindler reported that according to the investigation, Bradley retaliated against three women employed by the city, which according to the city’s personnel policy, warrants termination.

“Your conduct is in violation of certain sections of the Wellington City personnel manual, which warrants termination,” Schindler read.

According to Schindler, one of the women alleged that in September of 2019, while attending a sexual harassment training, Bradley “touched her inappropriately and swatted her on the backside.” This allegedly took place in the Carbon County administration building.

The same woman alleged that in March of 2020, she sent Bradley a text about a “package” that needed to be picked up from the city office. Bradley responded with “don’t talk about my package.” Schindler reported that Bradley acknowledged the authenticity of that text and that it was sent by him.

In May of 2020, Schilder said that the woman reported that Bradley sent a text to her saying, “you really think I am an ugly *** cop?” and “you know you are freaking smokin’ hot.” The text continued, “you could wear a garbage bag and still be smokin’. Really though, I really, really like it.” Schindler said that Bradley acknowledged the authenticity of the text and that it was sent by him.

In June of 2020, Schindler reported that Bradley took the woman on a ride-a-long during the morning hours. At lunch time, Bradley allegedly said to her, “I’ll drop you off for lunch, go get something to eat, and text me when you are done and I will come back and get you and you can show me your boobs.” This reportedly happened when the woman was walking away from Bradley and he allegedly said, “how about a burger to go with that shake?”

In July of 2020, Bradley allegedly sent a text message to the woman in response to a question from her to the effect that “only if you send me nudie pics.” Bradley reportedly acknowledged the authenticity of this text and that he had sent it.

Also in July, Bradley allegedly sent a number of text messages to the woman, including “Don’t be mad at me, I have to do my job. Also, you can’t talk about this with anyone. You are awesome and you do a great job. I am so happy to have ya. You complete me. You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy, when skies are grey.” Bradley reportedly acknowledged the authenticity of these texts and that he had sent them.

In October of 2020, it was reported that Bradley saw the woman in her car at Walmart. Bradley allegedly made gestures toward her. When she rolled down her window to see what Bradley was saying, he allegedly told her that he was indicated to her to “flash him,” Schindler read.

Also in October, it is alleged that Bradley sent a text in response to the woman saying, “I only take payment in full frontal nudity.” Bradley reportedly acknowledged the authenticity of this text and that he had sent it.

In December of 2020, Bradley allegedly swatted the woman on the backside again with a sheaf of papers and put her in a head lock in the Wellington City offices.

Schindler continued, stating that this conduct was brought to the attention of Wellington City and Mayor Paula Noyes. “Mayor Noyes elected to place you on probation and required certain things of you as part of the disciplinary action,” Schindler said. “That disciplinary action occurred on or about January 26, 2021.”

Schindler continued, reporting that on Feb. 2, 2021, a complaint was tendered to post concerning Bradley’s conduct.

The next section of the notice that Schindler addressed was in regard to complaint letters written by Bradley and sent to Mayor Noyes regarding the three women. Each letter was written separately and outlined his complaints against each woman. These letters were alleged as retaliation, according to Schindler.

In the complaint letter against the first woman, Bradley stated that in his 2.5 years as Wellington Police Chief, he has been diligent in his work. He stated that the woman was hired to do secretarial work for the front office as well as the police department.

Bradley detailed in the letter that as part of her employment, she attended a training on submitting law enforcement information into the appropriate systems. Bradley said that he further trained her on the tasks. He alleged that she did not do her complete duties with her work in this role, without consulting him or the mayor, and that she ultimately resigned from that role in January of 2021.

He alleged that even though she resigned from that role, she was still receiving compensation for those hours. Mayor Noyes did speak to this, stating that she and the council had approved reassigning her duties on Dec. 30 of 2020 and she took on additional roles to accommodate her works hours.

The letter written by Bradley also claimed that the woman would watch Netflix and spend time on social media during business hours. Bradley also alleged that in December of 2020, the woman touched his buttocks in an inappropriate way while taking a picture at a Christmas celebration. Bradley also said, “she came onto me and when I denied her advances, she vowed retaliation.”

Bradley stated he and the woman had had a professional and friendly relationship. He reported that she asked him to come with her on her bull elk hunt, which he declined. Bradley also said the woman had asked him to perform the wedding ceremony at her upcoming wedding this fall.

Continuing, Bradley said that she would also often confide in him with her personal relationships. He reported that he apologized in writing to the woman and that his intent was never one of a sexual nature.

Bradley also alleged that the cameras had been turned away from the petty cash drawer, citing an incident where $100 went missing and the woman was not able to account for it.

In the second letter, Bradley reported that a second coworker had alleged that he had followed her in his vehicle on Jan. 28, 2021. He outlined that he was not following her and that he was just on the same road at the same time. He also provided footage from his patrol camera to show the reported incident.

Bradley continued in the complaint letter by stating that the second woman prevented him from accessing the Wellington City offices. He also reported that she released information on the workings of the police department that she was not supposed to release.

The third complaint letter against another coworker said that Bradley alleged conflict between him and the woman on several instances. He alleged that she made it hard to do his job, refusing to give him access to city cameras and refusing to speak to him. He also alleged that the woman locked him out of the city building and gave false allegations against him to the mayor and council.

Bradley continued, stating that the woman is often late to work, leaves early and takes inappropriately long lunch breaks. He stated that he has never witnessed her being on time to work. Mayor Noyes responded to this, stating that the woman’s job often requires her to leave the office and that attendance has not been an issue.

In each letter, Bradley reported that the three women made it impossible to do his job effectively. He said that these relationships with his coworkers were negatively impacting his mental health and his ability to do his job.

Schindler concluded that these allegations outlined in each letter written by Bradley were not supported or false, according to their investigation. He stated that he believed what Bradley did was wrong, citing the letters as retaliation, and stands by his recommendation to the council to terminate the chief on that basis.

Nate Nelson, who was representing Bradley in this matter, then took his turn to address the council. He started by alleging that he has not received all of the information he had requested by Schindler. He also reported that he had a sore throat, but that he was told the meeting would happen and attendance was required.

“I don’t know why Rory is being treated the way he is being treated,” Nelson said. “I have my suspicions who is responsible for that.” He pointed out that in the policy of the city, if there is a notice of intent to terminate, the employee has 10 days to respond. Nelson alleged that Bradley’s notice was received on Monday at around 4:30 p.m. He reported that there was only two days to respond and that by then he had one day to prepare for the meeting that took place on Friday evening.

“Those things are being taken out of context,” Nelson said in response to the allegations that Schindler read. “Rory is jovial, okay. This is, and I am not saying this is the correct way, and I am not dismissing my client’s behavior. What I am saying is it is being taken out of context.”

Nelson continued, stating that the notice did not include what the woman was saying in response to the texts Bradley sent. He continued, stating that Bradley’s actions need to be corrected as well as at the city to the extent that any employee is acting in such a manner.

Nelson continued, stating that the mayor learned about the smack on the buttocks and that she “dealt with it” and disciplined Bradley for the action with a verbal warning. Nelson reported that the mayor was also informed of the text messages that were sent and placed Bradley on a 90-day probation.

“All of those issues are dealt with,” Nelson said. “And then after that, then Rory basically has all of these issues with these women at work. He can’t do his job, he can’t access the camera that goes over Highway 6, he can’t even access the building, right? The cameras that are on the till are mis-positioned. So, what is Rory supposed to do? He doesn’t supervise any one of these ladies, okay? So, if he wants to resolve a problem with anyone, what does he do? He’s gotta go to the mayor, right?”

Nelson continued, stating that Bradley drafted the letters and sent them to the mayor in the hopes of resolving the alleged issues. Nelson then said that the city alleges that the letter constitutes retaliation.

“Legally, as a matter of law, based on United States Supreme Court case precedent, my client cannot retaliate against people that he does not supervise,” Nelson said. “He can’t legally retaliate because in order to retaliate, you have to do something specific. You have to alter the terms, the conditions, the privileges or the compensation of the person that allegedly had an adverse action taken against them. My client doesn’t have the ability to even do that, so how could he have retaliate in that fashion?”

Nelson continued, saying that the mayor addressed the issues with Bradley, he took responsibility and the actions were dealt with. He said that there wasn’t an issue until Bradley submitted the three complaints letters.

“In order for there to be a retaliation claim against these ladies, these ladies have to show that an adverse employment action was taken against them. Nothing has even happened to any one of them. Period.” Nelson then turned to the council, “Why? Because you caused an investigation to be conducted and the conclusion of that investigation, and I have issues with the investigation, but at the end of the day, the investigation decides that none of the stuff that Rory says, you know, has any merit. Therefore, we are not going to take any action. So, what happened to any of the gals? Nothing. There was no adverse reaction.”

Nelson reiterated, stating that legally, Bradley could not have retaliated against the women because he was not their supervisor. “The fact is, did he retaliate against these women?” Nelson asked. “He didn’t. He just didn’t, and you shouldn’t terminate him.”

Members of the public tried to make comments during Nelson’s presentation, but they were told that public comments would not be taken during the meeting.

After both attorneys had time to speak, Bradley addressed those in attendance. “First off, I want to apologize to all of you,” Bradley said. “You know, like Nate said, I have never shied away from what I did. You have to know the relationship between me and the person that made the complaint, we were friends. We were good friends. I got her this job at Wellington City.”

Bradley continued, stating that the text messages were inappropriate and that his family, including his mom, wife and kids, have all seen the text messages and that they have forgiven him. He continued, stating that there are two sides to every story. Bradley said there was never any sexting, exchanging of nude photographs or affairs.

“The text messages were simply meant to be funny. That’s it,” Bradley said. “I am not accusing her of anything. I did wrong. And I will admit that I did wrong and I have said that I did wrong from the get go. And I will say that to my entire city, that I did wrong. I am better than that.”

He stated that he has not had a grievance against him in his 18 years in law enforcement. “I love you guys,” Bradley said, addressing the community members in attendance. “I know you guys love me because I have felt it. And I know you guys want me to stay your chief because you are here tonight.”

Bradley continued, saying that he apologizes the Wellington City residents, his family and his wife. “I appreciate you guys being here and supporting me,” Bradley said. “And I just ask the council to… have an open mind. I know that they already have a pre-notion when they came into this.”

Following this, Wellington City Councilwoman Bethany Perea made a motion to terminate Bradley on the basis of retaliation. “I make a motion to terminate the employment of Rory Bradley as Wellington City Police Chief,” Perea said. “I make this motion because he was disciplined in late 2020 and January of 2021 for sending inappropriate text messages to a subordinate. The text messages were requesting an employee to send him nude photos of herself and he swatted the employee on her buttocks. This conduct occurred while Chief Bradley was on duty for Wellington City. After the discipline was issued, Chief Bradley retaliated by filing complaints against his victim and two others. This investigation was conducted and concluded and we have also concluded Chief Bradley’s complaints were unsubstantiated, unsupported, false, exaggerated and fabricated… and violates policies of Wellington City, Utah State statutes and his oath as a law enforcement officer and his oath as Wellington City Police Chief.”

The motion was seconded by Glen Wells, brother to Mayor Noyes. Bradley and his father voted against the termination. Mayor Noyes had the tie breaking vote, voting in favor of termination. The meeting was then concluded.

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