Omaha City Council member sworn in amid controversy

Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 7:04 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - On Tuesday, Colleen Brennan, a Democrat, will be sworn in as the seventh member of the Omaha City Council representing the southwest part of the city.

She’s taking over for Rich Pahls, who is now a state senator in the Nebraska Legislature.

Pahls along with four other council members supported her appointment out of 17 resumes.

It wasn’t long after that Colleen Brennan started to face backlash over some of her blog posts regarding race and COVID-19.

BM: “You’re being called a racist and COVID denier.”

Colleen: “I’m neither. I’m far from it. I have vocalized my support for masks and social distancing. I’m for that. I know it’s real. You have one side that says it’s fake news and another that said millions and millions are going to die. Neither of them is right. I’ve said this time and time again, I shared two opposing parties with different opinions. They are not my opinions. These are the opinions of other people. My intent wasn’t to create controversy or more problems or be inflammatory. I want to help. That’s what I do best.”

For now, Colleen Brennan says she’s getting up to speed with the process of the city council, and what’s on the mind of her constituents.

“My intention is on getting through the day, said Brennan. Get sworn in and get to work.”

There have also been questions raised about Rich Pahls.

Who is resigning his seat and being able to vote on his replacement? Is the seat really vacant if you’re still in it and able to vote?

Interim City Prosecutor Matt Kushe tells 6 News that if he is still voting on other things during the meeting, he’s not legally prohibited from voting on his replacement.

This seat expires in June and Colleen Brennan plans to run for the spot in the Spring primary.

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