BROKEN BOW, Neb. - A Grievance Hearing date is now set in Broken Bow. The Custer County town's mayor is facing accusations of abuse of power to silence a police investigation. The hearing is Wednesday, June 5th, in the town's Municipal Building at 7 p.m.
New documents revealed additional details about the situation regarding Broken Bow Mayor Jonathan Berghorst.
Earlier this week, our news partner News Channel Nebraska learned a grievance was filed against the mayor by Broken Bow Police officer Ben Tucker. It outlined the events of April 6 in which Tucker said Berghorst was involved in an alleged assault in the alleyway behind Broken Bow Legends Neighborhood Grill and later tried to use his status to disrupt the investigation.
The letter said officers arrived at Mayor Berghorst’s residence where Officer Tucker described the mayor as being “uncooperative and intimidating in nature, by puffing out his chest on multiple occasions, and asking me if I knew who he was.” Officer Tucker also outlines in the letter that Mayor Berghorst threatened Officer Taylor with his job by asking, “Do you like your job?”
Officer Tucker concluded the formal letter of grievance by saying that Mayor Berghorst showed un-professionalism throughout the contact and abused the scope of his position.
Then on Wednesday, the Custer County Chief revealed a second grievance filed by BB officer David Taylor. The grievance filed by Officer Taylor outlines the incident that took place on April 6 which references “unprofessionalism, threats of job loss, abuse of power and status by Mayor Jon Berghorst.”
Officer Taylor describes in his letter that Mayor Berghorst acted aggressively and possibly used his position as mayor to “attempt to silence a criminal investigation by calling the Chief of Police directly.”
The letter written by Broken Bow Police Chief Steve Scott to Broken Bow Council President Rod Sonnichsen, expresses concerns on the behavior of Mayor Berghorst during the attempted investigation. Chief Scott writes that he is concerned on the direction of the Police Department “if officers have to worry about keeping their jobs as retaliation if the Mayor attempts to interfere with another investigation.”
Chief Scott notes that he “felt Mayor Berghorst put the Police Department in a bad situation because of his conduct.”
The Attorney General’s Office is investigating the incident.