Davenport, Florida, Mayor Teresa Bradley was arrested last week on several criminal counts related to falsified handicapped parking permits. According to reports, the 60-year-old woman stole the identifications of several deceased residents. She then obtained handicapped parking placards in their names and used them to unlawfully park in spaces reserved for the disabled.
Authorities from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office confirmed they received several tips that the mayor was parking in handicapped parking spaces, despite the fact that she is not disabled.
In the course of their investigation, officials viewed photographs and video surveillance footage of the city hall parking lot. Although Mayor Teresa Bradley was not known to be disabled, she routinely parked in spaces reserved for the handicapped. Authorities were specifically concerned, as the mayor appeared to have a handicapped placard in her car.
As reported by Palm Beach Post, the photos and video footage provided enough probable cause for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office to obtain a warrant to search Mayor Teresa Bradley’s home.
Officials confirmed that they confiscated two handicapped parking placards from the Davenport, Florida, mayor’s home. Upon further inspection, it was confirmed that the permits were originally issued to two different women — who were both deceased.
Teresa Bradley was subsequently arrested and charged with stealing the identification of a deceased person or persons, unlawful use of a handicapped parking permit, and falsification of a handicapped parking placard. Authorities said the mayor was released on $2,250 bond.
Assistant State Attorney Jacob Orr confirmed Teresa Bradley agreed to a plea deal, which included her resignation as the mayor of Davenport, Florida.
Orr further confirmed that Bradley pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of “unlawful use of a handicap placard.” As reported by Miami Herald, the former mayor will not serve any time in jail. However, she will remain on probation for a period of six months.
Former Davenport Mayor Teresa Bradley pleads no contest unlawful use of a handicapped placard. She received 6 months probation, a fine, & will resign as mayor. pic.twitter.com/hBQJniR0eo
— Christopher Boyd (@CMB_News) December 15, 2017
At this time, Teresa Bradley has not offered an explanation or an apology for her behavior. However, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd stressed the fact that elected officials are expected to set a good example. In his opinion, the former mayor’s behavior was not only illegal, it was “embarrassing.”