Polk sheriff: Mayor parked in City Hall handicapped spot using deceased’s decal

Davenport Mayor Teresa Bradley, 60, was arrested on Tuesday after Polk County deputies said she used a deceased person's handicapped permit to park in a handicapped spot at Davenport City Hall. [Polk County Sheriff's Office]
Davenport Mayor Teresa Bradley, 60, was arrested on Tuesday after Polk County deputies said she used a deceased person's handicapped permit to park in a handicapped spot at Davenport City Hall. [Polk County Sheriff's Office]
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A Polk County mayor was arrested Tuesday after deputies said she used a deceased person’s handicapped permit to park in a handicapped spot at Davenport City Hall.

Davenport Mayor Teresa Darlene Bradley, 60, was released Tuesday after posting $2,250 bail.

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the investigation started in November after deputies received information that Bradley was parking in designated handicapped spots at City Hall even though she was not known to be handicapped and didn’t have a handicapped placard.

Records show neither Bradley nor her husband, John Lepley, were ever issued a disabled placard or a handicapped license plate, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

On Nov. 8, deputies said they observed her placing a placard on the rear-view mirror of her Crown Victoria to park in one of two handicapped spots, then removing it when she returned.

They said the video also showed her taking a large wheeled briefcase out of her trunk and walking into City Hall without assistance.

Deputies determined the placard showed an expiration date of 10-18, when it’s true expiration date was Oct. 30, 2013 and that it had been issued to a Davenport woman who died in August 2012.

After searching the mayor’s house, deputies said they found that placard and another that belonged to a person who died in 2015.

Bradley faces charges of criminal use of a deceased person’s ID, possession of an altered/counterfeit decal and unlawful use of a handicapped placard, according to jail records.

"We expect our elected officials to set the proper example," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a prepared statement. "She not only violated the law, she embarrassed the citizens of Davenport with her illegal conduct."

Davenport is a town of about 4,000 located in northern Polk. Bradley has served as mayor since 2013 and was re-elected on April 4 to a third term with 63 percent of the vote, or 307 votes.

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