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Burgum suspends two school board members in Belcourt

BISMARCK — North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum suspended two members of a school board on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation "after credible reports of threats and demands made" amid a state audit, his office said Thursday, April 25.

Jeremy Laducer and Doug Delorme were suspended from the Belcourt School Board, which administers state funding for the Belcourt public school district. Meanwhile, the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians Tribal Council moved to suspend another board that administers federal funds for tribal schools in Belcourt.

Laducer and Delorme are members of both boards, according to Burgum's office. The governor's spokesman declined to elaborate on the allegations.

The actions came amid a citizen-requested financial inquiry from the State Auditor's Office. A bill passed this legislative session gave Burgum the power to suspend school board members during a financial audit.

Efforts to reach Laducer were unsuccessful. Delorme said he was surprised by the move because he supported the audit and blamed "political agendas" and conspiracies.

"There was no threats of anybody," he said.

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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