Broken Bow council president takes over for recalled mayor

City Clerk Stephanie Wright swears in Rod Sonnichsen as the new mayor of Broken Bow, Nebraska during a ceremony at the Broken Bow Municipal Building Friday afternoon. (Source: Holly Barraclough, KNOP TV)
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BROKEN BOW, Neb. (AP)- The president of the Broken Bow City Council has taken over as mayor following the recall of his predecessor, who’s awaiting a criminal trial.

Rod Sonnichsen was sworn in Friday to replace Jonathon Berghorst, who voters removed from office last week.

“Whenever you accept that position of (council) president, you always have to have in the back of your mind that, no matter what, you have to be prepared,” Sonnichsen said. “I never thought this (recall) would happen as president, but I was always ready.”

He doesn’t plan on making any changes of note, he said.

The Custer County canvassing board has affirmed that 619 people voted to recall Berghorst and 400 voted against the idea.

The recall petitions said Berghorst had created a hostile work environment for city employees and showed no respect for the employees or members of the city’s volunteer boards. He denied the accusations.

The petitions also mentioned the two criminal charges against Berghorst. He’s pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial on allegations that he threatened the job of a police officer investigating a fight outside a bar for which the mayor also has been charged.

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