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Idaho mayor: People shouldn't pre-judge Bergdahl

FILE - This undated file image provided by the U.S. Army shows Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. A Pentagon investigation concluded in 2010 that Bergdahl walked away from his unit, and after an initial flurry of searching, the military decided not to exert extraordinary efforts to rescue him, according to a former senior defense official who was involved in the matter. Instead, the U.S. government pursued negotiations to get him back over the following five years of his captivity -- a track that led to his release over the weekend. (AP Photo/U.S. Army, File)

HAILEY, Idaho (AP) -- The mayor of the hometown of a recently released U.S. soldier is urging Americans not to judge Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (boh BURG'-dahl) until all the facts are in.

Hailey, Idaho, Mayor Fritz Haemmerle released a written statement Monday saying the city has been inundated with phone calls and emails. They're from people on opposite sides of a national debate about whether Bergdahl should be hailed as a hero or tried in court as a deserter, or worse.

The city is holding a celebration of Bergdahl's release later this month -- just as it has held annual rallies of support since he became a prisoner of the Taliban in 2009.

The mayor says the negative emails raise some important points. But he asks that people not pre-judge Bergdahl, and instead wait for any investigation to unfold.

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