Andrew Bradshaw mayor candidate portrait

ANDREW BRADSHAW

CAMBRIDGE — The Commissioners of the City of Cambridge issued a statement Thursday, Nov. 18, sharing details of their unanimous vote to ask Mayor Andrew Bradshaw to resign.

The commissioners met in a closed session emergency meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 16, to consult extensively with the city attorney and city manager on Bradshaw’s arrest. Following the closed session, the commissioners reconvened and voted unanimously to instruct the city attorney to draft a letter to Bradshaw asking for his resignation.

In their joint statement, the commissioners said,”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’ wishes conflict with Bradshaw’s expressed intentions for moving forward. A statement from Bradshaw’s attorney Michael Belsky indicated that the 32-year-old mayor doesn’t want to step down from his position following his arrest and allegations of distributing revenge porn.

“Nothing about the allegations in any way affect Mayor Bradshaw’s desire and intent to continue to lead all the citizens of Cambridge,” Belsky said, the same statement he gave to The New York Times Tuesday, Nov. 16.

At 32, Bradshaw is the youngest mayor in Cambridge’s history. He took office in January 2021.

Bradshaw was arrested on Monday, Nov. 15, after a criminal information — a formal criminal charge — charging him with 50 counts of distribution of revenge porn was filed in the Dorchester County Circuit Court. He was released on his own recognizance just a few hours after his arrest.

The charges stem from a complaint made in May 2021 by a woman who was previously in a relationship with Bradshaw. The alleged victim told police that she discovered nude photos of herself posted on Reddit without her knowledge or consent.

The Reddit photos of the alleged victim contained racial slurs and sexually explicit language. The photos were posted by multiple accounts with various usernames hinting at the name and birthdate of the victim.

Photos were reposted to various subreddits named “HumiliatingComments,” “DegradeThisPig,” “DegradedCaptions,” “Slut” and “needysluts,” according to the charging document. Some post titles also referred to the victim’s weight.

Police were able to trace the Reddit account activity via IP address to Bradshaw’s address in Cambridge. An initial search and seizure warrant was executed on the mayor’s home and offices in city hall on Aug. 4.

Each count carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail and a $5,000 fine. If Bradshaw was found guilty of every count and ordered to serve consecutive sentences, he could be facing up to 100 years in jail and $250,000 in fines.

As part of his special pretrial release conditions, Bradshaw is barred from using any form of social media. He will also have to check in with the county detention center at least once a week.

Maryland laws on revenge porn prohibit 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.

A scheduling conference for future hearing and trial dates will be held Dec. 6 in the Dorchester County Circuit Court.

Natalie Jones is a reporter at The Star Democrat in Easton covering crime, health, education and Talbot County Council. You can reach her with questions, comments or tips at njones@chespub.com.

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