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Ex-official pleads guilty in fund misuse case

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RED LAKE FALLS — A former city administrator of Red Lake Falls pleaded guilty Monday to misuse of city funds.

Allen Ducharme, 50, entered the plea to a single felony count of a public officer permitting the falsifying of government documents, according to the Red Lake County District Court’s  administrative office. He also entered Alford pleas to two gross misdemeanor counts of misconduct by a public officer.

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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 in northwest Minnesota.

Ducharme was city administrator from 2005 until August 2012, after serving as mayor from the late 1990s until 2005.

Prosecutors said that in 2010, Ducharme 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.

Under an Alford plea, the defendant does not admit guilt, but admits that sufficient evidence exists for a conviction.

Sentencing is set for Jan. 6.

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