City & Government, Public Safety & Health, Springfield

Mayor steps down; son jailed: Ben Lundberg charged with 10 child sex crimes

Springfield City Hall has weathered political and social protests in recent months, and now must find a new mayor following Christine Lundberg’s resignation on Saturday, Aug. 15. JORDAN CORA LAMPE/PHOTO

SPRINGFIELD — Three days after Christine Lundberg abruptly resigned from her position as Springfield mayor, her son was arrested on child sex charges. 

Benjamin Lundberg, 39, of Springfield was arrested on Aug. 18 on 10 counts of Encouraging Child Sex Abuse, according Springfield Police Sgt. David Lewis.


Lundberg’s arrest was the result of an ongoing investigation into child pornography by the Springfield Police, the Eugene Police and other state jurisdictions, including Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC).

On Aug. 13, a search warrant was served at a residence in west Springfield and police seized several digital devices owned by Benjamin Lundberg, and found child sex abuse material.

Two days later, on Aug. 15, mayor Christine Lundberg announced her resignation. In a letter posted online Saturday, the mayor stated: “I make this decision with a heavy heart. The role of mayor has been an enormous honor. Springfield is such a wonderful community. I have always felt blessed to serve as your mayor.”

Christine Lundberg did not respond to Chronicle inquiries. 

Benjamin Lundberg’s social media profile includes information about his work history. It states he’s been a photographer since 2008, and Ben Lundberg Photography studio is listed at 5904 G Street. The website for the pohtography studio is offline, and the phone number is disconnected. Online reviews described customer experiences around wedding and model photography.

It also states he has been an associate at Aflac since 2015, was a bartender at Starlight Lounge in Eugene from 2009-15, and was a salesperson at Best Buy from 2005-07. 

Ben Lundberg is a 1999 Springfield High School alumnus and a 2005 University of Oregon alumnus, where he studied business administration. 

He has had other encounters with local law enforcement before. 

In September 2017, he damaged 27 vehicles after going on a tire-slashing spree in Springfield that was fueled by alcohol, according to court records. He was in jail for three months for the incident.

He was arrested in 2006 for an intoxicated driving charge that was dismissed after he completed a court-ordered diversion program, according to court records.

Benjamin Lundberg is being held at Lane County Jail and was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday. 

As for the next steps, “the next court date would be a simple status check 35 days later,” Sgt. David Grice said. “If additional charges are filed by police, or via a Grand Jury indictment, he will get arraigned for the new charges.” 


In the May election, Lundberg won a new four-year term beginning January 2021 after defeating longtime community volunteer and civic leader Mike Eyster by a final count of 7,052 to 5,139. 

The Springfield City Council will select someone to fill the mayor’s vacant position at a future public meeting, according to Amber Fossen, the city’s public information officer. 

The next opportunity to run for Springfield mayor will be in the November 2022 general election. Per the Springfield Charter, the council must appoint an interim mayor until a successor is elected by Springfield voters. The successor to fill the remaining two years of that term will be elected at the general election in November 2022.

“The appointment can be someone on council, or a Springfield resident living within city limits,” said Joe Pishioneri, Springfield City Council president. “We’ve directed staff to provide additional information and options for the council to discuss.”

A person does not have to be a sitting city councilor to be appointed, and the choice cannot be a city employee. Council can decide any additional qualifications in selecting someone to fill the vacancy at a city council meeting.  

The city council is on recess from regular meetings until September, but could decide to hold a special meeting, Fossen said. 

Pishioneri said there is no plan to schedule a meeting prior to the Sept. 8 meeting, and that “it is important that the full council has an opportunity to discuss the mayor appointment” at that Sept. 8 meeting. 



Born and raised in Springfield, she joined the Navy and attended the University of Oregon as well as Lane and San Diego community colleges. 

She was elected to the Springfield City Council in 1999 and served Ward 1, the Gateway area, for more than a decade. During that time, the PeaceHealth Hospital at RiverBend was built and transportation improvements to I-5 and Beltline Highway were planned. The first Bus Rapid Transit, known as EmX, route from downtown Eugene to downtown Springfield became a reality as well as the addition of the Pioneer Parkway EMX route. 

Mayor Christine Lundberg addresses the crowd during an annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration event in Springfield on Jan. 20.

Lundberg became the city’s 37th mayor when she was sworn in Dec. 6, 2010.

Lundberg might be most known for her leadership that brought about the Downtown Springfield revitalization, Creswell mayor Richard Zettervall said.

“When her term started in December 2010, Downtown Springfield was a very different place than what we see today,” Zettervall said. “There were many empty storefronts, criminal activity and not viewed as a very welcoming place. Today, downtown Springfield is vibrant, welcoming and filled with many new businesses and restaurants. It is now one of our favorite places to go antique shopping and to get lunch at one of the many brew pubs and other restaurants that dot Downtown Springfield.”

Councilor Pishioneri said that her “service and dedication to the Springfield community has been exemplary and we’ve had many notable achievements under her leadership. We respect her decision and our focus now is on immediate next steps for the Springfield community.”

Eyster said Saturday after the resignation that it was too early to comment on making another run for mayor.

“I have a strong interest in Springfield and I’m committed to Springfield’s future. Right now, I’m still processing the news,” he said then. 

Following the election in May, Lundberg said she was looking forward to completing several projects already in the works.

“The citizens of Springfield can rest assured that I will bring everything to the table to make sure that the city gets through these tough times and we come out stronger for it,” she said.

Mayor Lundberg delivered her State of the City address on Jan. 13. She mentioned accomplishments and said she was focused on fulfilling her vision for development in the area. ALIYA HALL/PHOTO

She added that winning the election means Springfield can continue working on multiple ongoing projects, including redevelopment of Glenwood, a potential indoor athletic track, rewriting the residential development code and improving the streets.

“At the Lane County mayors’ quarterly get-togethers, mayor Lundberg always had the best interest of not just Springfield but for all of the cities in Lane County,” Zettervall said. “She and I shared conversations about economic development, in particular regarding mills and former mills in both Springfield and in Creswell.”  

He said that when he was a rookie mayor, Lundberg offered a helping hand. 

“At the 2019 City Day at the state capitol … Mayor Lundberg took me under her wing and introduced me to many local, regional and state leaders that she said that I needed to get to know. She said that these people could offer and provide a lot of help for Creswell. I can’t thank her enough for recognizing my need and for taking me under her capable wing,” he said. 

The mayor, at the 2019 Hispanic Heritage Festival in Springfield.



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