Suburban NY mayor convicted of attempted assault
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The mayor of one of New York City's largest suburbs was convicted of attempted assault Thursday after his estranged wife said he slammed a door on her fingers.
A judge also convicted White Plains Mayor Adam Bradley of harassment and criminal contempt, for violating an order of protection. Bradley was acquitted of assault and tampering with a witness.
His lawyer pledged to appeal and Bradley, who claimed his wife had made up all the charges, said defiantly after the verdict that he would not leave office. He has three years left on his first term as mayor.
"I am innocent," he said, ignoring his lawyer's cautions not to speak. "Of course I'm not going to step down. This is also about my children, whom I love more than anything. ... I don't want them to have a legacy of lies."
The Bradleys, who are divorcing, have two young daughters.
Sentencing was scheduled for March 17 and Bradley was allowed to remain free. By law, he could get up to a year behind bars on the contempt conviction but his clean record is likely to mean a sentence without jail time.
In the courtroom, Bradley took the verdict without any display of emotion. Sitting in the gallery before his case was called, he was overheard saying, "I'm going to be stoic."
His wife, Fumiko Bradley, did not attend. Her divorce lawyer, Neal Comer, said afterward that the verdict meant "The judge believed Fumiko that he slammed the door on her fingers, so all this nonsense that she made it up is just nonsense."
Acting state Supreme Court Justice Susan Capeci, who heard the case without a jury, found Bradley guilty of attempted assault and harassment — but not assault — in a Feb. 28 incident in which not Fumiko Bradley alleged the mayor had repeatedly slammed her fingers in a door.
The judge also convicted Bradley of harassment — but not attempted assault — in a January incident in which his wife alleged he had thrown hot tea at her.
Fumiko Bradley also testified about another incident, which did not figure in the charges, involving a large Madagascar hissing cockroach, which had been brought home as a pet. She said her husband once pressed the cockroach cage against her face after a fight despite knowing she had a phobia about the creature.
Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore, also a Democrat, praised Fumiko Bradley's "courage and credibility." She said Adam Bradley's position as mayor "demonstrates that we will support victims of domestic violence no matter who the abuser may be."
Defense lawyer Luis Andrew Penichet said he was confident there would be a reversal, a retrial and an acquittal. He said he had "at least four major issues" to appeal, including Capeci's refusal to allow testimony from psychologists who had counseled the Bradleys. The judge said the counseling sessions were privileged.
Penichet said the psychologists would have testified that any abuse in the marriage was by Fumiko Bradley.
He said the violation of the order of protection "never happened." Bradley's wife had claimed he told her the criminal case would cost him his career. He suggested she admit herself to a mental hospital to cast doubt on her allegations, she testified.
Bradley, 49, was in just his second month as mayor of White Plains, a major office and retail center 22 miles north of Manhattan, when he was arrested in February. The former state assemblyman, a Democrat, had been considered a politician on the rise.
The case prompted some city council members and constituents to call for Bradley's resignation, but he resisted, insisting he was innocent. Women's rights advocates demonstrated against him during an April court appearance.
On Thursday, the mayor's constituents were split about his future.
"He said he wasn't resigning because he was innocent," said Doris Gonder, 55, who was Christmas shopping downtown. "If that's a conviction then he should resign right away."
But Asha'e Waters, 22, said there was no rush.
"I think if he's appealing we should let it play out," she said. "It would be wrong if he was forced out and then it came back that he was innocent."
Bradley testified that his wife was always the attacker in the marriage, regularly punching, pushing and berating him.
"I never responded physically to my wife's assaults, ever," he said.
He said he never called police or social workers because he wanted "to keep the family intact." He said even after his arrest, he suggested marriage counseling "because I wanted to see if there was an opportunity for us to have a reconciliation."