Police Chief Fired for Improprieties
January 8, 1959 – Madison, WI
Madison Police Chief Bruce Weatherly had been drinking with a secretary from the department for more than four hours at the Hoffman House restaurant on East Wilson Street. One bartender estimated the number of drinks he had at 12 - 14. Witnesses would later testify seeing him stumble into a wall on the way to the bathroom.
Weatherly, who was married, gave the secretary a ride to her apartment sometime between 9 and 10 p.m. After leaving her apartment at approximately 11 p.m., he pulled out into the path of a fuel oil truck at the intersection of Milwaukee Street and Stoughton Road and was struck broadside. He was driving a city-owned squad car.
Mayor Ivan Nestingen investigated the happenings of the day with a visit to Weatherly's home to interview the recuperating chief. Weatherly did not mention that he had been drinking with a secretary. Later, Weatherly had Nestingen come to his house again. This time he admitted a secretary was with him but said she had just shown up at the bar. The truth is that Weatherly had called the secretary from the bar and asked her to join him. As a result of the lie and the circumstances Weatherly was charged before the Police and Fire Commission.
On April 13 Weatherly was found guilty on all counts: driving under the influence, drinking while on duty, using a city car for unofficial purposes, suppression of evidence and conduct unbecoming an officer. The commission voted 4-1 to fire him.
The day after Weatherly was fired; acting Police Chief Richard Gruber discovered that Weatherly had bugged the police department's offices with electronic listening devices, including the private deliberation room of the Police and Fire Commission. Weatherly was consulted on the police offices during construction of the City-County Building. “He even had the john bugged”
Weatherly had almost lost his job three years earlier. In 1956 a complaint filed with the city Police and Fire Commission charged Weatherly with 13 violations including being drunk at the Edgewater Hotel on July 4, 1955, where he was “improperly associated with a married woman employee of the Police Department.”
Charges were dismissed.
Weatherly and his wife Inez moved to Texas and on July 25, 1962, Inez shot and killed her husband. She was with her daughter and son-in-law in the downstairs of the home when they heard a “thud” upstairs. Inez went upstairs to investigate and then a gunshot was heard. Inez returned to the kitchen. “I just shot your daddy” she told her daughter, then gave her son-in-law the gun. She had shot him in his abdomen with his own service revolver. She would later say he was “sick, sick, sick. I couldn't stand it any longer”
A grand jury refused to indict Inez for murder.