BROKEN BOW—Citizens of Broken Bow could be facing a trip to the polls for a potential recall election against Mayor Jonathon Berghorst. Recall efforts began recently following an incident in April in which the mayor was allegedly involved in a physical altercation. Weeks following, grievances were filed by officers of the Broken Bow Police Department and Electrical Superintendent Jeremy Tarr against the mayor.
Regarding the incident taking place in April, Berghorst is now facing charges of alleged third degree assault (class I misdemeanor) and oppression under color of office (class II misdemeanor). Trial is currently set for December.
A recall petition was filed by John Walters on August 30 on the following points:
1. Two charges filed against him by the Nebraska Attorney General.
2. Creating a hostile work environment.
3. Attempting to make monetary decisions and promise job contracts to friends without Council input and approval.
4. Shows no respect for department heads, and volunteer boards appointed to represent the city.
John Walters will be at the Broken Bow Public Library on Friday, October 4 collecting signatures from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the multipurpose room. He told KCNI/KBBN the recall petition needs 405 signatures in order for a recall election to take place (35% of the total vote cast for that office in the last general election).
John Walters said he hopes citizens of Broken Bow will be able to go to the poll and vote “yes” or “no” to retain Berghorst as mayor.
“I’ve lived in Broken Bow for over 40 years and there’s a lot of people in this community that has worked very hard to help make Broken Bow what it is and I’ve felt with John’s actions he’s really denigrating that,” Walters said.
Walters said he hopes Berghorst is removed from office adding, “I feel he has really become an embarrassment for the city of Broken Bow and he’s hindering what we’ve gained.”
Mayor Berghorst’s defense statement to the recall petition was published as follows in a September 23 story:
1. I have not been found guilty of any pending criminal charges.
2. I dispute the allegations that I created a hostile work environment.
3. I dispute the allegations that I made monetary decisions without City Council approval and promised job contracts to friends.
4. I dispute the allegations that I show no respect for department heads and volunteer boards.
KCNI/KBBN spoke to Mayor Berghorst on Thursday afternoon. The mayor was working out of the area and due to poor cell service, was unavailable for comment.