Superior City Councilor Warren Bender Resigns Over Inappropriate Messages Following Police Investigation
A 14 year city councilor in Superior has resigned his seat, following a police investigation and the request of the mayor. Longtime community activist Warren Bender tendered his resignation - effective November 15 - following allegations of inappropriate messages being sent by him to an "unidentified woman".
The alleged messages were sent starting in mid-September. No charges have been filed at this time in conjunction with the case.
For his part, Benders resignation letter didn't specifically admit to any wrongdoing, but does "accept responsibility" and does make apology to "those who have been negatively affected".
According to details shared in an article in the Superior Telegram [paywall], the alleged incident started when the unidentified woman "accepted a friend request from Bender on Facebook because they had mutual friends on the platform". Once the friend request had been accepted, the messages - allegedly from Bender - started.
While sources who have seen the messages - including Superior Mayor Jim Paine - describe them as "inappropriate", they weren't explicit in nature. "Messages included in the police report show Bender stating that the woman was 'quite attractive' and repeatedly urged her to meet him".
Both the unidentified woman and the former City Councilor are married.
While this is an open investigation and - again - no formal charges have been levied, Superior Mayor Jim Paine asked for Benders resignation from the City Council. Paine shared:
"Over the past month, I have given the Superior Police Department all of the information I have about Mr. Bender's recent actions. At the conclusion of their investigation, I spoke with Mr. Bender. While not all of the facts are clear, I urged him to consider the best interests of the city and his constituents. I then requested and received his resignation from the City Council."
One day prior to the effective date of his resignation, former Councilor Bender spoke to the allegations and the effects it potentially has on all of the parties involved. Warren Benders letter stated:
"To those who have been negatively affected by my inadvertent actions, I accept responsibility and I emphatically apologize. Again, I will be seeking the proper help that I need in a sincere effort to remain a respected and proactive citizen of Superior."
A "lifelong Superior resident", Bender has spent his career as a foreign language teacher in area high schools. He's served as the 3rd District Councilor in Superior since 2008 and his current term was expected to end in April 2024.