By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Gillette’s mayor apologized late Tuesday for text messages she sent containing disparaging comments about fellow city council members and others.
Louise Carter-King took to social media on Tuesday night to apologize to her constituents and explained that on Dec. 31, a number of her text messages were leaked when former City Administrator Patrick Davidson emailed the city council, the Gillette city clerk and an “unknown number of other individuals” to share texts between himself and Carter-King that took place over several years.
“In some of these messages, I am disparaging and disrespectful to members of this City Council and other individuals,” Carter-King said. “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 did not immediately return Cowboy State Daily’s request for comment.
After the release of the texts, citing transparency interests, Carter-King released nearly 500 pages of unredacted texts between her and Davidson to the public.
Some of the messages target Gillette Councilman Shay Lundvall, with one message saying “Of course Shay didn’t help. No surprise there.”
She also poked fun at Councilman Tim Carsrud’s religious beliefs and said Councilman Billy Montgomery could be manipulated to agree with her.
One message to Davidson in January 2020 was about Carsrud considering a run for the Campbell County Board of Commissioners.
“Surely he’s kidding. He would have to go to meetings,” Carter-King wrote in the text.
That same day, the two discussed a presentation Lundvall recently gave, where Davidson alleged that the councilman copied and pasted goals from the city of Lakewood, Washington and passed it off as his own.
Another message from Davidson to the mayor was about Lundvall wanting a phone call with him, which Carter-King apologized for.
“You should get hazard pay,” she joked.
Former legislator Scott Clem shared the email Davidson sent to the city council in a Facebook comment, but did not explain how he obtained the message.
“Recently I updated my phone and found the following files which may be of interest to you. It is a transcript of the various text messages between Mayor Carter-King and me, for a period of time,” Davidson wrote in the email. “I think you will find them insightful as they contain her unfiltered thoughts regarding members of the Council and the public.”
Davidson was let go from his position as city administrator in February 2021, after taking over in June 2017. Carter-King has been serving as mayor since 2015.
“My only request of the public is not to let my words and actions overshadow the good work of our City employees,” Carter-King wrote in her social media post. “I will spend the remainder of my term committed to rebuilding relationships and continuing to serve the best interests of the City of Gillette.”