Erie Insurance: “He has been put on administrative leave while the investigation continues.”
One of Erie Insurance’s top executives is on administrative leave from the company as he faces criminal charges that he choked and assaulted a woman that he was dating.
Bradley Postema, 55, of the 5200 block of Zessinger Road, McKean Township, was arraigned Jan. 4. by District Judge Denise Stuck-Lewis on charges of strangulation, a second-degree felony; simple assault, a second-degree misdemeanor; and a summary charge of harassment.
Postema, who is free on a $25,000 unsecured bond, is scheduled to face a preliminary hearing before Stuck-Lewis on Feb. 27 at 3:30 p.m.
In the meantime, Postema is no longer reporting to work at Erie County’s largest employer and the only Erie-based Fortune 500 company.
The company said in a statement: “We are aware of the allegation against Mr. Postema. He has been put on administrative leave while the investigation continues.”
According to a criminal complaint filed by Pennsylvania State Police at Girard, a woman claimed that she was at Postema’s home when he “put both hands around her neck and choked her and then slammed her to the ground.”
According to the complaint, she reported losing consciousness for a brief period.
Police said that Postema denied the allegations.
In a request for a protection-from-abuse order, which was granted on Jan. 14, the 22-year-old woman who has accused Postema said she visited his house on Jan. 4 to collect her belongings, ending a relationship that dated back to at least March of 2018.
The woman, a college student, wrote: “He grabbed me with both hands around the neck. He choked me, picked me up and dragged me 5 or 6 feet around the island in his kitchen.”
The woman said her eyeglasses were broken during the incident.
In her request for a PFA, the woman alleged two other incidents of domestic violence, including one in which federal marshals boarded a plane that she was on with Postema.
She wrote that marshals interviewed her after the flight in which she said Postema had verbally abused her and repeatedly pinched her.
“They (marshals) interviewed us separately, asking if I was OK, and being trafficked, that was their fear,” the woman wrote.
Postema, who joined Erie Insurance in 2012, ranks among the company’s senior officers.
At Erie Insurance, Postema is responsible for all investment activity, including performance and risk on its portfolio.
Before joining the company, he worked for GE Asset Management, where he served as senior vice president and senior portfolio manager for insurance.
Postema recently stepped down as a board member of the Erie Art Museum.
He resigned following the departure of Joshua Helmer, who left his job as the museum’s executive director Jan. 13, three days after publication of a New York Times story that raised questions about his behavior toward women at the Erie Art Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Postema made no public comment about the New York Times article or Helmer’s departure.
Jim Martin can be reached at 870-1668 or by email. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ETNMartin.