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David Bradshaw, White Rock mayoral candidate terminated after alleged violent threats

11/04/2014 09:00 EST | Updated 01/04/2015 05:59 EST
The only challenger in the White Rock mayoral campaign, David Bradshaw, says his past has nothing to do with his race for office.

Bradshaw is a former counselor with the B.C. Teachers Federation (BCTF) and is currently running an outspoken platform against high rise development in his Surrey, B.C. neighbourhood.

CBC News has obtained documents that show Bradshaw was terminated by the BCTF  after he allegedly told a co-worker he wanted to go “postal”.

He won the right to be reinstated after an arbitrator ruled that Bradshaw was medically disabled, and should not have been at work the day of the alleged incident.

Bradshaw, a latecomer to the White Rock mayoral race — and the only challenger to the incumbent, Wayne Baldwin —  says the entire case against him was "fabricated" and has nothing to do with his campaign.

"I'm used to attending to people’s concerns and advocating for them, and that is what this community needs right now," says Bradshaw, who wants to put a stop to high rise development in White Rock.

'David, now you're scaring me'

Bradshaw worked for the BCTF as a rehabilitation manager between 2001 and 2012. A report by an arbitrator from September 23, 2014 outlines a series of alleged interactions between Bradshaw and his colleagues.

In the report, co-worker Cory Anderson says Bradshaw confessed he was, "having violent thoughts."

Anderson also claims Bradshaw spoke of urinating on the BCTF's Human Resources manager's head.

 "Is that piss on your face? Do you like it?" she claims he said.

"I interrupted him and said, 'David, now you're scaring me,'"  Anderson is quoted as having responded.

The BCTF called the police, put Bradshaw on leave and barred him from the building.

In an email to his employer Bradshaw called the allegations, "ruinous fabrications born strictly out of a sick and twisted imagination."

Harassment complaints

 CBC News asked Bradshaw if he thought voters should know that he was fired in 2012 for threatening co-workers.

"That actually is totally not true," he responded. "If you want to know the facts of that it would be a whole other interview, but in fact I was bullied extensively. It was a toxic work environment."

The arbitrator’s report does say Bradshaw had filed harassment complaints against co-workers, and that he blames his "psychological injuries" on incidents caused by a BCTF Manager.

His union, the Teachers Federation Employees Union argued that Bradshaw was disabled with a medical condition the day of the alleged threats, and was only at work because he believed he had run out of sick leave.

Doctors who testified at a hearing to fight his termination said Bradshaw suffered from anxiety and depression, and said he posed no risk of violence in the workplace.

Bradshaw told the arbitrator that he had no memory of ever making the threats.

Depression and anxiety

Arbitrator John Kinzie found Bradshaw not at fault and ruled his employer should have put him on medical leave rather than firing him.

Kinzie accepted the opinion of Dr. Robert Ley, quoted in the report as saying, "Mr. Bradshaw's frustrations, hostilities and alleged threatening remarks which he purportedly made to a co-worker reflect the kind of low frustration tolerance and irritability that are associated with clinical levels of depression and anxiety."

"In fact they were fabricated," Bradshaw says of his co-workers’ complaints. "Because the lawyer who was hired by the union did not represent me."

In a statement, the BCTF told CBC News,  "David Bradshaw was employed by the BCTF from 2001 to 2012. In May 2012, he was fired as a consequence of making serious threats against co-workers. Bradshaw launched a grievance, which went to arbitration hearings over a two-year period. The decision was rendered in September 2014, and arbitrator John Kinzie upheld the termination.

"Throughout this lengthy process, the BCTF has been, and continues to be, careful to respect the privacy and safety of all involved, especially current employees. For that reason, the Federation will not be making any further comment."

Escalating issues

In his report, the arbitrator accepted that Bradshaw made the threats noting that "his reactions against, and contempt for, his fellow employees escalated to the point where he threatened to go postal against them."

Kinzie concluded that, "the termination of the grievor's employment on May 30, 2012 would have been justified" but, because he accepted that Bradshaw was ill and should not have been at work when he made the threats, he ordered Bradshaw be re-instated, "for the sole purpose of having his claims for sick leave and long-term benefits under the salary indemnity plan processed and adjudicated."

That process is scheduled to happen in the next month.

Kinzie concluded that Bradshaw’s relationships at the BCTF would not be repairable and it was not practical for him to return.

 Bradshaw says this issue has nothing to do with his mayoral campaign, which is about fighting development of high rise buildings in White Rock and advocating for seniors who struggle to pay their rent.

- Read the full arbitration report. On mobile? Click here.

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