CAMBRIDGE – Moves are underway to end Mayor Andrew Bradshaw’s tenure at the city’s top job.
Mayor Bradshaw was arrested Nov. 15 and charged with 50 counts of distributing revenge porn. He has not been convicted of a crime.
A statement from the Office of the Maryland State Prosecutor said Mr. Bradshaw is alleged to have created multiple accounts on the public internet forum “Reddit”, employing public usernames consisting of permutations of the name and birthdate of a person, identified as VICTIM-1, who had a past romantic relationship with Mr. Bradshaw.
Mr. Bradshaw is then alleged to have posted nude photographs of VICTIM-1, captioned with racial slurs and sexually explicit language, on those “Reddit” accounts and various “Subreddit” forums that were related to sexual activity, humiliation, degradation, race, and other topics. The charging document further alleges Mr. Bradshaw disseminated the images without the knowledge or consent of VICTIM-1, and with the intent to harm her.
If convicted, Mr. Bradshaw would face a maximum penalty of two years’ incarceration and a $5,000 fine for each count. He was released on his own recognizance later that day.
Following the arrest, Michael Belsky, a lawyer for Mr. Bradshaw, was quoted in the New York Times saying, “The allegations against Mayor Bradshaw involve private matters that are unfortunately playing themselves out in a public forum. Nothing about the allegations in any way affect Mayor Bradshaw’s desire and intent to continue to lead all the citizens of Cambridge.”
His desire to remain as mayor is not entirely in his control, however.
The City Charter’s Section 3-35 - Removals from office; cause, procedure reads in part, “The commissioners may remove from office, or discharge from employment, the city manager, the chief bailiff and any other officer or employee that may be elected or appointed under the authority of the charter, or any ordinance or order of the commissioner (whether be the term of service under which he holds his office or employment), for neglect of duty, for incompetence, or for any other misconduct, which, in the judgment of the commissioners, constitute reasonable and sufficient ground for removing him from office, or depriving him of employment.”
On Thursday, Nov. 18, the city commissioners released the following statement:
“The Commissioners convened an emergency meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, November 16, 2021 following the arrest of Mayor Bradshaw. The Commissioners moved to go into closed session where they consulted extensively with the city attorney and the city manager. Following the closed session, the Commissioners reconvened in open session and voted unanimously to instruct the city attorney to draft a letter to the Mayor asking for his resignation.
“It is the sincerest hope of all of the Commissioners that the Mayor will do what is best for the City of Cambridge and its citizens and tender his resignation. Should he fail to do so, then the Commissioners are prepared to pursue all available options under Maryland Law and the City Charter.”
The commissioners are Brian Roche, Ward 1; Commission President Lajan Cephas, Ward 2; Jameson Harrington, Ward 3; Sputty Cephas, Ward 4; and Chad Malkus, Ward 5.