New developments with Belcourt School Board after special meeting

BELCOURT, N.D. – The Belcourt School Board has named a new acting school superintendent and secured legal counsel, less than a week after voting to suspend with pay its superintendent.

According to school board documents, the board voted to approve Gaillord Peltier as the acting superintendent of the district, and to allow Peltier to secure legal counsel and seek an administrative judge.

The moves come after the board voted to suspend with pay Dr. Lana DeCoteau during its regular board meeting April 9. The reason for DeCoteau’s suspension is unclear.

The votes came during a special meeting Wednesday afternoon. According to the meeting notes, two board members, Wanda Laducer and Eric Dionne were unable to attend, after the board attempted to provide notice of the meeting at their residences and workplaces but could not reach them.

The board is currently the subject of a financial audit by the officer of North Dakota State Auditor Josh Gallion, following a petition-led effort by members of the community.