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February 01, 2012 02:25 AM UTC

Shocking New Developments In Bradford DUI Scandal

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: The House is convening an ethics committee to try to sort this out from their end, as the Grand Junction Sentinel’s Charles Ashby reports:

The panel is to investigate whether Bradford improperly invoked legislative privilege in a recent traffic stop where she had been drinking, but was not issued a citation for driving under the influence of alcohol.

The panel is to be chaired by Rep. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs. Also on the panel will be Reps. Brian DelGrosso, R-Loveland, Jerry Sonnenberg, R-Sterling, Claire Levy, D-Boulder, and Judy Solono, [D]-Brighton. The panel could hold its first meeting as early as Friday.

We’re told that the ethics panel will convene despite the new information from Denver Police today that significantly alters the focus on this story. Given the number of unanswered questions about it, that’s probably for the best–and likely not the only investigation needed.


At a press conference hastily convened by the Denver Police Department a few minutes ago, dramatic new information about the case of Rep. Laura Bradford’s alleged DUI, and use of legislative immunity law to avoid arrest, was brought to light–we quite frankly don’t know what to make of the totality of this, so we’re just going to lay it out as we understand it.

DPD’s spokesman Matt Murray explained again today that police initiated a traffic stop Wednesday night of Rep. Bradford’s vehicle, which has state legislative license plates, but she initially did not stop (not unusual, often people will drive a block or two to get out of traffic)–and nearly hit another vehicle once she did stop a couple of blocks away from Colfax. Murray reiterates that initial tests on the scene indicated Rep. Bradford was too intoxicated to drive.

But according to Murray, and we can only characterize this as highly irregular, the original information provided by the supervisor who went to the scene to investigate was not correct. DPD now claims that they asked Rep. Bradford about where she was coming from using language that could trigger immunity–not Bradford herself invoking legislative immunity. And importantly for Rep. Bradford, according to this new version of events, she said at least twice during the incident that she “wanted to be treated like everyone else.”

Remember, all of the heretofore information about what transpired between Rep. Bradford and DPD has been provided by DPD, and Rep. Bradford’s extremely limited statements.

Murray went so far as to apologize to Rep. Bradford for having mischaracterized her actions during the police stop, and said further that Police Chief Robert White was very concerned about the possibility that his officers had not told the truth. No explanation was given as to why officers would have initially told a version of this story that severely undercuts Rep. Bradford’s credibility if it wasn’t true. And it’s unknown why Rep. Bradford never mentioned that she had said these things to police in her apology on the House floor–only that she answered their question by saying she was leaving a “legislative function.”

Folks, it’s going to make even less sense to you when you get to Rep. Bradford’s gun.

According to Murray, as police were arranging for Rep. Bradford’s cab ride home, they asked her if there were any valuables in the car. Bradford replied that there was a gun–in Colorado, it’s not illegal to possess a firearm in your car, but it is always illegal to possess one when intoxicated. The spokesman says an officer on scene cleared the weapon, put it back, and was then instructed by the supervisor–read this very carefully–not to talk about it.

If the statements made in this brief press conference leave you with your head spinning, we assure you you’re not alone. We’ll start by saying that we don’t understand how officers this accomodating would have told such a hostile version of the story to Rep. Bradford once it broke in the press–a story that may nevertheless have omitted yet another important angle.

In short, we don’t know what, or who, to believe right now. But we’d say it’s only becoming more serious. Obviously we’ll update as new information becomes available.


36 thoughts on “Shocking New Developments In Bradford DUI Scandal

  1. Bradford is now off the hook.

    She is no Russel George, but she asked to be treated like everyone else. Twice.

    End of story until she has an opponent in a primary or general election.

      1. but there may be some legalities surrounding the difference between transporting a gun (while possibly intoxicated) and “possessing” a gun (while possibly intoxicated).

        I say that knowing full well that if Ms. Bradford had been a non-connected, non-legislative member, male, of color, and possibly drinking a can of pepsi at the time that that night’s outcome would have been completely different.

        Does DPD ever get it right?  I mean, I know they probably do every so often, but still . . . ?

        1. Then how do you define “intoxicated?”

          The statute, by the way, never says “intoxicated.” (

          It says “under the influence of intoxicating liquor.”

          But again, without a BAC test, it’s only armwaving.

          1. I thought they gave her a roadside sobriety test.  You don’t always need a BAC.  People can refuse those you know and still get convicted of DUI based on the roadside sobriety.

    1. This just got a lot weirder, but it’s a laughable reach to declare Bradford “off the hook.” This just increased the amount of interest in the story by a factor of a million. Police misconduct? What motivated them, first against her, then covering for her? I don’t think she’ll resign today now, but it’s far from over.

      1. but the public is lapping this story up, partly because she is a woman legislator. A male GOP legislator would never get this much scrutiny for a DUI, IMHO. The “prim and proper” Republican woman thing came back to bite her.

    1. Was there a dashboard camera in the police car? Are there any street cams in the vicinity of the stop in downtown Denver? Where are the actual reports of the incident, from the officers and the supervisor?

      1. that the matter is under investigation so they won’t release the videos, if any exist. The incident reports, though, are public record. Give it a try.

        Include the date of the incident, approximate time and location and Bradford’s name. Ask for incident reports, names of officers and supervisor(s) involved and videos from any police cars involved and nearby street cams, if any. You may need to drive down there and see if you can eyeball street cams. If you do find some, include their locations.

        You can reach me through Pita, if you need to.

        1. They’ve already given her Legislative Immunity.  Maybe she gets charged now with both DUI and having a gun while drunk.  That would serve her right for asking to be treated like everyone else.

          The DPD, well at least the new chief came clean rather than covering up.  And, he did it quick.  Hope some heads roll over this over there now.  Without someone fighting the continuous cover-ups and misbehavior, the DPD will forever remain the true problem that it is.

          Hope this bodes well for the new chief.

          1. C’mon now. This is the DPD we’re talking about here. White may be new and gung ho, but he’s not stupid. And Hancock needs those loyal blue uniforms to harass the Occupy terrorists.

  2. on FOX 31 as are the cops. They also brought up the weapon in the vehicle. Internal Affairs is now getting involved on the police end.

    Lord, what a mess.

  3. No explanation was given as to why officers would have initially told a version of this story that severely undercuts Rep. Bradford’s credibility if it wasn’t true. And it’s unknown why Rep. Bradford never mentioned that she had said these things to police in her apology on the House floor

    I think I know why Bradford didn’t mention that she didn’t request any special treatment: she had been drinking.

    Seriously, if you drink to the point where you think it’s ok to drink and drive even while you’re swerving all over the road,  you probably aren’t going to remember everything you told the cops.

    How many people remember their drunk conversations? I tell you, I think there’d be a lot less alcohol consumption if everybody was forced to remember everything they said or did while under the influence.  

    1. About the only part of this story that doesn’t strike me as much of a mystery is  that Bradford failed to mention every detail. If she was drunk she probably has a pretty hazy memory of the whole thing.   Plenty of people have forgotten a lot more than a few details after drinking too much. Like, where did I leave my car or even where the heck am I ?

      As far as the strange and changing versions coming from DPD, that aspect of the story may be puzzling but is about as “shocking” as the sun coming up in the morning anymore. It’s not as if DPD has ever been very confidence inspiring in the credibility department.

  4. Said that the original DPD officer was trying to correct the record, and that the sergeant that arrived at the scene on request is the one who led Bradford down the path toward “immunity”; the sergeant’s report is apparently the one in question.

  5. The distance from Colfax and Downing to the 1700 block of Pennsylvania is well over half a mile, pushing 3/4 mile. (Replay 0:50-1:05 to confirm this.) Pennsylvania is 7 blocks west of Downing, and 17th Ave (denoting the 1700 block) is two north of Colfax. That is a hell of a long way to go to “get out of traffic,” and much more than the “couple of blocks” indicated in the diary.

    That’s one more thing that raises my eyebrows. I would guess that the legislative plates on Rep. Bradford’s car had a lot to do with why she wasn’t forced to pull over sooner – or maybe this is what police do if DUI suspects aren’t really making a run for it? I don’t know. BUT… I do think it’s one more thing that makes it appear that she was pretty intoxicated at the time. I’ve been pulled over a few times over the years, and I know I didn’t travel that far before I stopped, not even when it was on the freeway.

    1. Is that they let her drive that far while suspecting her of driving drunk. If the police are pulling you over because they suspect you are drunk, don’t you think they should have you pull over immediately no matter where you are? What if she had injured or killed someone while the police were following her?  

        1. Did you all forget about needing “reasonable cause” to stop someone?  I know that this has never stopped the Denver cops before, but to get a DUI, especially if they refuse a breathalyzer and BAC, you have to have proof.  It was late.  Probably not too many folks on the road.  Maybe the cop was just trying to make sure she was drunk.  Also, my experience when being stopped by a cop is an immediate adreniline rush which makes me pretty able to stop the car quickly.  I hate defending the cops, but in this case my guess is that the officer watched a car with what might have been a drunk driver and followed her until she turned off Colfax and then turned on his lights.

          Also, I thought legislative immunity only prevented the cops from stopping you if you were on your way to legislative business, not coming home.  Even if there was a meeting which violated the Open Meetings law at the bar that night, whe wasn’t going to a legislative meeting, but coming home from one.  Does anyone know?  If legilative immunity does prevent arrests on both, then the law ought to be changed.

    1. Claire Levy.  And Tom Massey while being an R is one of the old time good guys.  So, at least we know there will be a fair hearing and not a kangrooo court.

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