Broken Bow City Council upholds decision to fire former police officer

Staff Writer

Council member Neal Neth might have been speaking for most everyone in the room at the Broken Bow City Council meeting Nov. 22 as the council had before it the vote on whether to uphold, reverse or modify the firing of former police officer Ryan Anderson. “This is not an easy decision for anyone,” Neth said.

The City Council voted to uphold the Mayor’s decision to fire Anderson from the Broken Bow Police Department in September. Anderson’s job was terminated as a result of actions he took surrounding his response to a domestic abuse call in late August.

Voting to uphold the decision were Adams, Neth and Sonnichen. Schall abstained as he was not present at the hearing Nov. 16 in which the city presented evidence and Anderson’s representative spoke on his behalf.

The agenda listed the council decision to take place in closed session, however, city attorney Jason White said that the council could remain in open session if Anderson requested it. Asked if he wanted an open or closed session, Anderson said he was fine with open.

Council member Rod Sonnichen said that he has spent 30 hours after the hearing gathering informations on procedures and even contacted another law enforcement agency to gather information. “I believe I have enough facts,” he said.

Council member Neal Neth said that he has received a lot of calls about the situation. “I appreciate every call I’ve received. I appreciate the input,” Neth said. He said many calls were conjecture that the Council had a vendetta against Anderson which he said is not the case. “There are more than one or two people involved...We’re looking at the facts. Our decision will be based on requirements and facts.”

Council member Bill Adams said he agreed with Neth.

Council member Chad Schall had no comment as he hadn’t yet seen the evidence. “Unfortunately I wasn’t there,” he said, referring to the hearing of Nov. 16.

Anderson did not speak during the city council meeting Tuesday and declined to comment to the Custer County Chief after the meeting.