The Cambridge commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday night to have the city attorney draft a letter asking Mayor Andrew Bradshaw for his resignation.
The vote came following a Tuesday night emergency meeting that went into closed session for consultations with the city attorney and city manager.
“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,” the commissioners said in a joint statement. “Should he fail to do so, then the Commissioners are prepared to pursue all available options under Maryland Law and the City Charter.”
The joint statement from Commission President Lajan Cephas (Ward 2) and Commissioners Brian Roche (Ward 1), Jameson Harrington (Ward 3), Sputty Cephas (Ward 4), and Chad Malkus (Ward 5) was posted on the city’s website.
Section 3-35 of the city’s charter sets forth the procedure for removals from office:
“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.
“In all cases, where the official or employee has any fixed or definite term of service, a charge or complaint, in writing, shall be presented to him, and evidence as to the facts alleged in such charge or complaint, shall be taken before the commissioners if he denies the correctness or truth of same.”
If Bradshaw were to resign or be removed, the commission president would assume “all rights, powers and duties of the mayor,” according to the charter, and the commissioners would need to schedule a special election to fill the mayoral vacancy.
In a previous statement, the city noted that Cambridge has a council-manager form of government with the appointed city manager, not the mayor, serving as the city’s chief executive officer and heading its administrative branch.
Bradshaw, 32, was charged Monday with 50 counts of “revenge porn,” accused of creating multiple Reddit accounts with usernames that were permutations of a former romantic partner’s name and birthdate and posting intimate photos of her that were “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,” according to the state prosecutor’s office.
“Maryland’s Revenge Porn Statute, Maryland Criminal Law Article § 3-809, prohibits the nonconsensual distribution of a private visual representation of another which exposes their intimate body parts or displays them engaged in sexual activity, with the intent to harm, harass, intimidate, threaten or coerce the person depicted,” the Office of the State Prosecutor said in a press release.
Bradshaw was released Monday without having to post bond.
According to charging papers:
• The photos were posted in April and May.
• The woman contacted police in mid-May to say she had learned nude photos of her had been posted on Reddit. She told police that the photos were posted without her knowledge or consent and had only been sent to Bradshaw.
• She said the photos were sent when she and Bradshaw were in an intimate relationship, she did not give him consent to re-distribute the photos, and she is no longer romantically involved with Bradshaw.
• The accounts used to post the photos were from an IP address that provided internet service to Bradshaw’s Cambridge home.
• The photos were posted to subreddits named RacePlay, “with racial slurs in several of the posting titles,” and HumiliatingComments, among others. Charging papers allege that nine posts were made to the RacePlay subreddit and there were racial slurs in seven of the titles or captions.
Bradshaw’s home and the mayor’s office at city hall were searched by police on Aug. 4.