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Published October 29, 2013, 03:57 PM

Ex-Red Lake Falls official pleads guilty to 1 count in fund misuse case

A former city administrator of Red Lake Falls, Minn., pleaded guilty Monday in Red Lake County District Court one count in connection with a case involving misuse of city funds.

By: Herald Staff Reports, Grand Forks Herald

A former city administrator of Red Lake Falls, Minn., pleaded guilty Monday in Red Lake County District Court one count in connection with a case involving misuse of city funds.

Allen Ducharme, 50, entered the plea before District Judge Tamara Yan to a single felony count of a public officer permitting the falsifying of government documents, according to the district court’s administrative office. He also entered Alford pleas to two gross misdemeanor counts of misconduct by a public officer.

In a plea agreement, the Red Lake County Attorney’s Office agreed to drop the remainder of a 20-count indictment that included misconduct, theft and exceeding his authority while he served as city administrator for the city of 1,400.

Ducharme was city administrator from 2005 until August 2012. He also had served as the city’s mayor from the late 1990s until 2005.

The guilty plea involved a charge stemming from an incident in 2010 in which prosecutors say he illegally prepared a voucher for mileage totaling $175 for a city worker to attend a meeting, when the trip already had been paid for with city funds.

Yan, who accepted the plea agreement, ordered a pre-sentence investigation, with sentencing set for 9 a.m. Jan. 6, according to the administrator’s office.

Under a Alford plea, the defendant does not admit guilt, but admits that sufficient evidence exists with which the prosecution could likely convince a judge or jury to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

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