By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Gillette’s mayor resigned late Thursday, almost one week after the leaking of a number of text messages she sent to the city’s former administrator calling city council members idiots, among other things.
Louise Carter-King resigned her position effective immediately Thursday night.
“It is with a heavy heart that I announce my resignation as the Mayor of the City of Gillette,” Carter-King said. “I want to thank [City Council] and the many outstanding staff members who I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years. I am proud to have served the City of Gillette for nearly 30 years.
“I am so proud of what our community has accomplished, particularly the construction of the beautiful campus and most recently, the passage of an independent Gillette College. I look forward to what you will accomplish going forward. I know you will continue to make sure that Gillette remains the greatest city in Wyoming,” she wrote.
This week, Carter-King took to social media to apologize to her constituents and explained that on Dec. 31, a number of her text messages she sent to former City Administrator Patrick Davidson were emailed by Davidson to the city council, the Gillette city clerk and an “unknown number of other individuals.”
After Davidson’s release, Carter-King released nearly 500 pages of unredacted texts between her and Davidson to the public.
Many of the messages target Gillette Councilman Shay Lundvall, with one message calling him a “bumbling idiot”.
“Idiot” appeared to be one of her favorite descriptives. She also called an official from Riverton the same thing during a Wyoming Association of Municipalities meeting. “Riverton is led by an idiot,” she said.
Carter-King did not appear to be impressed by the candidates for an empty city council seat as she bashed the finalists — Troy McKeown, Jeff Raney, and Colleen Faber.
“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.”
“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.”
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.
In her resignation letter, Carter-King said she knew she would have to have “difficult” conversations with the city council members and others who might have been impacted by her texts, which she has had in the last several days.
“It was never my intention to hurt anyone, but I recognize that I have hurt people and damaged relationships,” Carter-King wrote in her resignation letter. “I believe that it is in the best interest in the City for me to step down from my position.”
Carter-King was first elected to the Gillette City Council in 1990 and served five terms in the position. She took office as mayor in 2015 and was re-elected in 2018.
“We on the Council would like to thank Louise for her longtime service to the citizens of Gillette. She has been a force within our community for so many years. Her passion and experience will be missed,” said Council President Nathan McLeland. “We wish her all the best.”
The process to select Carter-King’s mayoral replacement will begin soon.