Gillette Mayor apologizes for years’ worth of disparaging, disrespectful texts

Former Gillette mayor Louise Carter-King resigned from her position Jan. 6 after a series of disparaging and insulting text messages between her and a former top city official were leaked to members of the council and the public. (City of Gillette)

Gillette Mayor Louise Carter-King back-peddled furiously Tuesday night following the release of nearly a year’s worth of disparaging and disrespectful texts between herself and another former top city official.

The correspondences, contained within 464 pages of text screenshots, were made public on Dec. 31 by former city administrator Patrick Davidson, who left the city in Feb. 2021 leaving a two-sentence press release in his wake that stated simply that he “was no longer employed by the City of Gillette.”

“On December 31, 2021, Patrick Davidson sent an email to this Council, the City Clerk, and an unknown number of other individuals, sharing private communications that occurred over several years,” Carter-King said in a Jan. 4 statement. “In some of these messages, I am disparaging and disrespectful to members of this City Council and other individuals.”

The private communications begin in Nov. 2019 and end in June 2020, where Carter-King reportedly exchanged text messages with Davidson that repeatedly insulted the intelligence of members of the City Council, the Campbell County Commissioners, Campbell County employees, organizational leaders, and private citizens.

One such conversation referenced Troy McKeown, Jeff Raney, and Colleen Faber, the three candidates who were selected as finalists to fill a vacant county commissioner seat the night before Jan. 24, 2020, in the City Council Chambers at City Hall.

“McKeown, Raney, and (Elgin Faber’s) wife. Monkeys think if they can’t get the guy they will get his wife,” Carter-King wrote Davidson. “Every seat was filled. We have to fumigate the chambers and I want a new chair. (Vikki Kissack) ruined mine I’m sure.”

“That’s funny,” Davidson replied. “I’ll get it cleaned up.”

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“Thanks, or trade mine out with Shay’s,” Carter-King continued. “It’s hard to believe those freaks live and breath here. Wow. (Robert Palmer) was clearly the most qualified but that doesn’t matter to them.”

A screenshot of the texts between former city administrator Patrick Davidson and Gillette Mayor Louise Carter-King. (Screenshot/City of Gillette)

Another exchange occurred on March 17, 2020, where Davidson called Public Health Officer Dr. Kirtikumar Patel a “wimp” for his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which Carter-King agreed with.

(Screenshot/City of Gillette)

In yet another correspondence in April 2020, Carter-King, referencing a request for the city to provide personal protective equipment to police officers, said she “found out it was a spouse who was asking about PPE for officers. Wives are a pain in the ass.”

(Screenshot/City of Gillette)

Fast-forward a couple of days and several other exchanges took place between the mayor and Davidson where Carter-King texted about a Riverton Official during a Wyoming Association of Municipalities (WAM) meeting where she reportedly stated, “Riverton is led by an idiot.”

In that exchange, Davidson simply replied with, “yep.”

That same day, Carter-King and Davidson also discussed the Campbell County Fire Board’s request to increase wages for Campbell County firefighters with increased contributions from the city and the county. During the conversation, Carter-King indicated that she would not budge from the existing contribution of $2.4 million and stated that she does not care for Campbell County Fire Chief Jeff Bender.

“F U bender,” Carter-King texted Davidson.

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Also on April 8, during a meeting regarding the fire department’s budget, Carter-King texted Davidson that Councilman Shay Lundvall was a “bumbling idiot” as he addressed the officials present at the meeting and said he “blundered around.”

(Screenshot/City of Gillette)

On April 14, Davidson texted Carter-King and told her that he was tired of then Commissioner DG Reardon, who has since resigned from his position.

“No kidding. He is a jerk,” Carter-King replied.

Over the course of several months, Carter-King and Davidson reportedly continued to disparage other members of the Council, including former councilman Shawn Neary and current Councilman Tim Carsrud.

“I am ultimately responsible for my behavior, and I sincerely apologize for any pain or embarrassment I have caused to my fellow council members and other members of the public that I insulted,” Carter-King said in a statement regarding the communications. “My responsibility is to represent the best interests of the City of Gillette and this city council- and I have let you all down. I am truly sorry for both my words and my actions.”

A public record of the leaked correspondences between her and Davidson was published on the city website at her request, per the release.

In the same statement, Carter-King indicated that she would continue to serve as mayor and would spend the remainder of her term committed to rebuilding relationships while striving to serve the “best interests” of the City of Gillette.