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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Former Red Lake Falls city administrator, Ducharme, charged with felony theft

  • Allegations involve money spent on prom party at the school.
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  •     Allen Lee Ducharme, the former Red Lake Falls city administrator, has been charged with two felony theft charges alleging that, in May 2010, he used a city debit card to purchase $2,394 worth of items for a post-prom party he and his wife hosted for local high school students. He also allegedly charged gas on the city's card to travel to Fargo to purchase the party supplies.
        Ducharme, 49,  resigned from his position in August 2012 when questions arose regarding the city of Red Lake Falls finances. Shortly thereafter, Red Lake County Sheriff Mitch Bernstein began investigating a complaint brought by the League of Minnesota Cities citing possible theft and fiscal mismanagement of city funds. Ducharme is scheduled to appear in court o June 10. By then, Bernstein said he could be facing more charges.
        Based on concerns that were initially voiced last year by Red Lake County Chief Deputy Brad Johnson, on April 29, 2013, Bernstein filed a criminal complaint in state district court with four counts against Ducharme, who is slated to appear in court June 10. The charges include two felony theft of funds counts, as well as  two related misdemeanor counts of misconduct by a public officer or employee. If convicted, Durcharme could face a maximum prison sentence of five years in prison per felony and additional jail time and/or fines for each misdemeanor.
        Around the same time Ducharme resigned last August, then-Mayor Vaughn Thorfinnson resigned, too, citing his disagreement with the way the city council was treating Ducharme.

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