OYSTER CREEK — Police Chief Tim Bradberry resigned his position while being investigated following an incident that happened while he was in uniform in Lake Jackson.
“He wrote to me with a heavy heart and we know what it is so we need to move to accept it,” Oyster Creek Mayor Justin Mills said in voting on the resignation during council’s meeting Thursday night.
Bradberry’s actions are under investigation following an April 25 incident that started when an employee of Campbell’s Towing doing work in an apartment complex in the 100 block of Any Way Street in Lake Jackson reported a suspicious vehicle, Lake Jackson police said.
Responding officers saw Bradberry try to leave in the car and hit a boat trailer, causing “very minor” damage, police said. Bradberry was in his police uniform, but Lake Jackson officers believe he was off duty.
Oyster Creek officials have referred all questions to the city’s attorney, Larry Boyd, who declined to comment about Bradberry’s resignation or the investigation. Bradberry could not be reached for comment.
The department is investigating whether evidence supports accusations Bradberry left the scene and lied to investigators, Lake Jackson Police Chief Paul Kibodeaux said.
“He did leave the scene but he did return shortly thereafter. We don’t like to close the doors on anything,” Kibodeaux said.
Mills confirmed Bradberry has been on administrative leave and handed in his formal resignation shortly before council’s meeting Thursday. The council has not had time to discuss his replacement, Mills said, but Capt. Rick Hempel will be in charge of the department for now.
“It sounds like it will be an in-house thing as of yet, I believe. We haven’t discussed it,” Mills said.
Council approved Bradberry’s resignation with Position 4 Councilman Harold Vandergrift abstaining from the vote. Bradberry has been Oyster Creek’s police chief since 2007, when he replaced the late R.B. Hays.
In other business Thursday, council considered two projects proposed by the Economic Development Corporation’s beautification subcommittee. Members approved spending up to $250,000 to clean reeds out of the creek banks at FM 523, but delayed action on installing two signs welcoming visitors to Oyster Creek at both ends of the city pending cost estimates.
Removing the reeds won’t damage the habitat along the ditch in any way, committee member and Fire Chief Mark Westmoreland said.