Wellington police chief fired after alleged sexual harassment

Rory Bradley said he was trying to be funny. His supporters heckled the city council as they made their decision.

(Screenshot via Facebook) The Wellington City Council meets Friday, April 9, 2021, to discuss allegations that Wellington Police Chief Rory Bradley sexually harassed a female city employee.

Wellington Police Chief Rory Bradley was fired Friday evening for allegedly sexually harassing a city employee and making false allegations about her and two other female city workers.

Bradley, who is also a council member, had been put on unpaid administrative leave at the start of the month.

During a public meeting, City Attorney John Schindler read out the accusations facing Bradley. Schindler said an investigation found that Bradley had sent inappropriate text messages to a female employee, made inappropriate comments to her, swatted her on the backside two times and put her in a headlock on city property. The text messages asked her to send him naked photos and said he only accepted payment in “full-frontal nudity.”

After the woman complained about his conduct, Bradley allegedly filed a complaint against her, saying she had touched his backside, had made advances toward him and often watched movies at work. Schindler said these allegations are not supported and amount to retaliation.

Schindler said Bradley also filed false complaints against two other female employees with the city.

Members of the audience laughed at Schindler as he laid out the allegations against Bradley. They heckled him when he refused to take questions from audience members. People commented in support of Bradley on the city’s Facebook page, claiming that the meeting was “one-sided.”

Bradley’s lawyer was given time to defend his client. The lawyer said Bradley’s texts were taken out of context. He admitted Bradley had swatted someone on the backside, but said he had already been disciplined for that by Mayor Paula Noyes.

He pleaded with the council not to fire Bradley, saying that residents don’t want him to go. He also claimed that firing Bradley would be retaliation for him complaining about the women.

He also implied that the city had a nefarious agenda against his client.

“I don’t think it’s a secret that John doesn’t like Rory,” said Bradley’s lawyer.

Bradley also had the opportunity to defend himself. He said he was “friends” with the person who made the complaints. He also said his mom and wife have forgiven him for the text messages and he was just trying to be funny.

Councilwoman Bethany Perea made a motion to dismiss Bradley, saying he sent text messages to a subordinate employee asking for nude photos and that he swatted her on her buttocks. Audience members heckled her and groaned as she made her motion. Perea had to raise her voice as audience members tried to speak over her.

Despite protests from the audience, the council voted to fire Bradley.

Correction, April 10, 2:30 p.m.: A previous version of this story misstated which Wellington City Council member made a motion to dismiss former Police Chief Rory Bradley. Councilwoman Bethany Perea made the motion.

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