Former Mayor John Sommerer – Child Molestation


CORAL SPRINGS – Former Mayor John Sommerer, who ran City Hall for 10 years, was arrested and booked by Coral Springs Police early Wednesday on nine counts of lewd and lascivious molestation, conduct and exhibition on a child in incidents that occurred over a year.

Sommerer served as mayor for 10 years, between 1994-2004.

He is charged with molesting a girl in incidents that occurred between October 1, 2006, and October 31, 2007, an arrest warrant said.

According to an arrest warrant, Sommerer is accused of various acts of inappropriately touching the victim, as well as pressing himself against the victim and asking the child to spray a hose on his exposed body. He is also accused of asking the victim to ride a motorscooter without underwear, the warrant said.

Sommerer tried to make a political comeback in March 2006 after term limits kept him from holding onto the mayoralty two years earlier. He was defeated by Scott J. Brook.

Sommerer, 60, is a certified public accountant and has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Toronto and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Hartford. He has served as member of the Kiwanis Club, Coral Springs Community Chest, and the Coral Springs Chamber of Commerce.

Sommerer had a reputation in Coral Springs for being a statesman, peacemaker and a dignified leader. He wasn’t a divisive figure in the city, and was well-liked.

One of his pet projects was correcting the city’s ZIP code glitch. He led the charge to try to convince the U.S. Postal Service for years that mail for city residents shouldn’t be addressed to Pompano Beach, saying that the city has lost state revenue sharing funds and insurance premium tax allocations, which are distributed by ZIP code.

During his time in office he also pushed for the American flag to be displayed without showing signs of being tattered or worn-out, saying it was a dishonor to fly the flag in frayed condition and supported art being displayed in public places.

John and Diane Sommerer have lived in their Coral Springs home since 1980 and the couple has four sons. Public records show he has no other arrests.

“It’s disturbing to read the allegations against the individual,” said Coral Springs Police Sgt. Joe McHugh.

“It’s just very sad,” said Vice Mayor Roy Gold. “I hope the family … gets through this.”

Former Vice Mayor Rhonda Calhoun has known Sommerer for 25 years, back when she was an administrative assistant at a Pantry Pride supermarket and he worked in management. They later served together on the City Commission.

She said she couldn’t comment on the criminal allegations.

“I love John,” she said Wednesday. “I’ve known him for a very, very long time and he is a wonderful man.”

“It’s unbelievable,” she said, her voice choking with emotion.

Published in: on December 23, 2007 at 4:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

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