Gov. Burgum suspends two members of Belcourt School Board

BELCOURT, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum suspended Jeremy Laducer and Doug DeLorme from the Belcourt School Board Thursday, amid what his offices says were credible reports of threats and demands made by the two members during a state-run audit of the board.

The governor’s order followed action from the Turtle Mountain Tribal Council in suspending the entire nine-person Turtle Mountain Community Schools Board.

Laducer and DeLorme were members of both boards.

The decision comes after Burgum joined with Superintendent of Public Instruction Kirsten Baesler and Tribal Chairman Jamie Azure in signing a joint letter expressing a shared desire to resolve the situation..

The office of North Dakota State Auditor Josh Gallion is conducting a financial audit of the district, following a petition-led effort from members of the Belcourt community.

Earlier this month, the board voted to suspend district superintendent Dr. Lana DeCoteau with pay, though the reason for her suspension remains unclear.

The move leaves five members on the board: Kurt Peltier, Eric Dionne, Wanda Laducer, Teri LaFountain, and Bruce Morin.

House Bill 1501, passed and signed into law during the current legislative session, effectively gives the governor the right to take this action. The bill also includes an emergency clause.

The letter signed by Burgum, Baesler, and Azure is attached to this story.

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