Herb Bergson, a former mayor of both Duluth and Superior, was arrested Tuesday afternoon following a vehicle crash in Douglas County.
The 61-year-old Bergson remained in Douglas County Jail into Wednesday morning, where he is facing charges for resisting/obstructing and a traffic complaint - failure to install an ignition interlock device, said Douglas County Sheriff Tom Dalbec.
Bergson will make his first appearance in Douglas County Circuit Court in Superior via closed-circuit television at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to Dalbec.
Bergson struck a tree with his car near Lake Nebagamon, Dalbec said, describing the incident from the deputy’s report.
“In a nutshell Herb got into some kind of car crash,” Dalbec said. “He left the road and struck a tree. Sometime between whoever came across it and called it in, he had left the crash scene and we located him a short time later at his cabin at Nebagamon.”
Bergson is being charged with obstruction for “being less than truthful to my sergeant,” Dalbec said.
Based on conditions of prior convictions, Bergson was supposed to have an ignition interlock device in his car. “He did not have an ignition interlock device in the car,” Dalbec said.
Bergson’s history of three operating while intoxicated convictions dates back to 2005, while he was serving as mayor of Duluth.
Bergson’s first OWI was the result of a high-profile crash. According to police reports from that incident, Bergson's blood-alcohol level measured 0.161 percent, more than twice the legal limit, after his car crashed into a guardrail on U.S. Highway 53 near Spooner, authorities said. He then asked passing motorists not to call police and was described as “not very cooperative” by the officer who made the arrest.
His popularity slid after the incident.
Bergson, now of Madison, was a longtime investigator in the Superior Police Department.
He served as Duluth mayor from 2004-08 and as Superior mayor in the late 1980s and early 1990s. His political career ended in 2008, when he failed to get past Don Ness and Charlie Bell in a Duluth mayoral primary election.
Bergson returned to Duluth in 2012 to attend the unveiling of his mayoral portrait in the Hall of Mayors in City Hall. In his retirement he has been open about his issues with the law - even speaking publicly about depression, anxiety and alcohol abuse.