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Contentious Riverbank Election Ends With New Mayor Sworn In

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Steve Large Steve Large
Steve anchors the news on CBS13 on the weekends and reports during the...
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RIVERBANK (CBS13) – More than a month after the election, a San Joaquin Valley city finally has a new mayor, but the old mayor has made some startling claims about harm to her family and fraud.

During Christmastime in Riverbank, it’s hard to tell who’s being naughty and who’s being nice. There were plenty of smiles inside council chambers Monday night, but some of those smiles may have been disguising sneers.

At the swearing in ceremony for the new Riverbank mayor, something cameras couldn’t see was the tension.

“Oh, there was a lot of tension,” Riverbank resident John Mitchell said. “You could cut it with a knife.”

Former mayor Virginia Madueno has hired an attorney and issued a statement saying she will call on the secretary of state’s election fraud unit to investigate the Stanislaus County clerk-recorder’s handling of this election.

Her farewell speech included this line: “I never would have imagined that a small mayoral race would become so controversial.”

And this one: “And I pray that none of you will ever learn how much harm has been done to my family.”

Later CBS13 tried asking about her comments about harm to her family, but she declined to elaborate.

New mayor Richard O’Brien said he doesn’t know what she means.

“We haven’t spoken about anything in the last three months except for business,” he said.

O’Brien won the race by just 53 votes. Madueno paid for a recount that took place just hours before the council meeting. The recount showed the same results.

So O’Brien is in as the mayor of Riverbank. The question is, just what is he in for?

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