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Valley City mayor Werkhoven resigns

Valley City Mayor Bob Werkhoven in 2011. Forum file photo.

VALLEY CITY, N.D. – The mayor of Valley City has resigned, effective immediately.

Mayor Bob Werkhoven, 85, told the Valley City Times-Record that the reason for his resignation is health-related.

Werkhoven was first elected in 2010 to a four-year term and won a recall election in January 2012 after a vote of about 57 percent to his challenger's 43 percent.

Organizers of the recall effort said they were unhappy with the status quo, saying city officials stifle criticism and brush off concerns of their constituents, a previous Forum article said.

Earlier this year, allegations of sexual and criminal misconduct were leveled against several city officials by resident Robert Drake, a restaurant and rental property owner with a history of clashing with city officials.

City Administrator David Schelkoph, City Attorney Russell Myhre, Police Chief Fred Thompson and Police Lt. David Swenson said earlier they wanted state law enforcement to investigate whether the allegations against them are defamatory.

Their lawyer said they were the victims of a "shameful" smear campaign.

Myhre was not to be prosecuted for the allegations leveled against him, a county prosecutor said. Allegations against the other officials involved improprieties including misusing their powers.

Werkhoven denied any role in the allegations in January 2015.

Valley City is about 60 miles west of Fargo.

Rick Abbott

Rick Abbott, a native of Grand Forks, N.D., is a multimedia reporter at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He graduated with a degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis in Photojournalism from Minnesota State University Moorhead. Rick previously worked at WDAZ-TV in Grand Forks as production director and later web producer.

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