State Rep. Laura Bradford, R-Collbran, admitted she had multiple drinks prior to being pulled over on Jan. 25, after a night at the Prohibition bar near Colfax Avenue and Pennsylvania Street.
"What did you have to drink that night?" 7NEWS reporter Marshall Zelinger asked Bradford at the Capitol on Wednesday.
"Three glasses of wine in three-and-a-half hours, with a heavy meal in between," said Bradford.
Bradford said she was at the Prohibition with former lawmakers, lobbyists and one appointed official. A Denver police officer pulled her over after he determined she made an improper turn at Colfax Avenue and Downing Street. Bradford pulled over blocks away at 17th Avenue and Pennsylvania Street.
Police said the officer smelled alcohol on her breath and that Bradford admitted to the officer she had been drinking. Her vehicle has license plates that show her designation as a House member, and police asked if she was attending a legislative function. The Colorado Constitution states that lawmakers cannot be arrested while leaving or going to a legislative function unless a felony or treason has been committed. Bradford asked that she be treated like anyone else.
The officer called a sergeant who determined Bradford would take a cab home, while her car would be parked and locked. Bradford was asked if there was anything valuable in her car, and she admitted there was a permitted gun under her front seat.
The sergeant told the officer not to mention the gun. CALL7 Investigators have confirmed that the supervisor is Sgt. Bonita Packard. The officer who came forward and exposed Packard's inaccurate account of the traffic stop has been with the department about six years.
That officer came forward days later, revealing the missing details from the traffic stop.
The officer took out the gun and disengaged the clip. On Monday, police Lt. Matt Murray said the gun was secured in the vehicle.
Bradford told 7NEWS she took the gun home.
"You took it home in your possession?" asked Zelinger.
"Yes. We placed it in an additional purse-like bag with me, and (I) took it home," said Bradford.
"Was there any question from the officer or sergeant about whether that was appropriate or not?" asked Zelinger.
"No. And I don't think the police at the time did anything erroneous or nefarious or purposely wrong. There was a lot of confusion," said Bradford.
Bradford Considers Leaving GOP Which Could Swing House Power
House Speaker state Rep. Frank McNulty, R-Highlands Ranch, still plans to have an ethics committee look into Bradford's actions, despite police admitting their own mistakes.
"There are other questions relating to the circumstances of that evening that on a House rule level and from the House of Representatives, must be looked at and reviewed," said McNulty. "This isn't about putting any story to bed. This is a serious matter and it's something that deserves a thorough review."
Bradford told 7NEWS the ethics committee investigation is the final straw that has her considering leaving the Republican Party.
"I've been very frustrated for the last 14, 15 months," said Bradford. "This is not a judgment; it's not a rash decision, nor is it a quick decision, nor is it an easy one."
"I think that type of discussion is unfortunate and unproductive," said McNulty.
Republicans currently hold a 33-32 edge in the House. Should Bradford become a Democrat, the Democrats would have control of the House 33-32. That would give Democrats control of the House and Senate.
Should Bradford become unaffiliated, the House would be split 32-32-1. All House members would then have to vote on who would be in control between Republicans and Democrats.
DPD Chief: "I Have Lots Of Questions"
Denver Police Chief Robert White said transparency is very important because it goes to the department's credibility.
He is proud of the officer who came forward to report Packard.
"I want to commend the officer because it takes a lot to go over the head of a supervisor and acknowledge that something inappropriate occurred. It takes courage to do that," said White. "When you are young and you have a supervisor who is telling you one thing, and you know in your heart that is not the correct thing to do, to have the courage to step out and do that, the officer should be commended for that."
7NEWS has confirmed that Packard is being investigated about her actions about Bradford's gun, but is still on active duty.
"Obviously, I have lots of questions as it relates to that," said White. "I don't want to be absolute on that because I have not done the investigation."
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