New Elizabeth official spurs Wyoming mayor’s resignation

Patrick Davidson reveals disparaging texts sent by former Gillette leader

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Less than three weeks into his new job as Elizabeth town administrator, Patrick Davidson sent an email that would result in the resignation of the mayor in Gillette, Wyoming.
 
Prior to coming to Elizabeth, Davidson had been employed in Gillette as the city administrator, and served as Gillette city attorney before that.
 
On Dec. 31, Davidson emailed the city council, city clerk and others in Gillette a transcript of thousands of text messages between himself and now-former Mayor Louise Carter-King, from the period when he was serving as Gillette city administrator. In the messages, sent from November 2019 through June 2020, Carter-King made several disparaging remarks about members of council and other public officials.
 
On Jan. 4, Carter-King posted an official statement confirming that she did indeed send the texts and apologized for her actions, then resigned her post just two days later. Councilman Nathan Ward is currently serving as acting mayor of the city of just under 33,000 people.
 
In more than 400 pages of messages, there are insults from Carter-King toward members of council, including references to one councilman as a “bumbling idiot” and a “blathering buffoon.” There also are texts in which she took aim at county commissioners, appointed public officials and private citizens.
 
Carter-King in her Jan. 4 statement asked that the full, unredacted copy of the messages be released. They can be viewed on the Gillette city website at tinyurl.com/wyotexts.
 
Davidson took over as town administrator for Elizabeth on Dec. 13, 2021, following what the Gillette News Record referred to as an “abrupt departure” from his city administrator position in Gillette in February 2021.
 
Before starting the Elizabeth job, Davidson shared his goals with Colorado Community Media, saying he wanted to spend his first 60 days getting to know the Elizabeth community and town administration, as well as getting up to speed on ongoing projects.
 
He explained how his experience with growth would be a boon for Elizabeth in its efforts to maintain its historic feel as the Front Range changes at a rapid clip.
 
Davidson did not respond to a request for comment for this story, but, according to the News Record, included a note in his Dec. 31 email with the texts stating that he had recently updated his phone, found the files and thought they might be of interest to his former colleagues in Gillette.
 
Prior to Davidson’s arrival in Elizabeth, the town administrator post had been vacant for nearly a year, following the January 2021 departure of its former occupant, Billy Joe “BJ” Potts, who stepped down after just three months on the job.

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