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Executive director for Bemidji's Sanford Center fired from post

BEMIDJI - The Sanford Center's executive director has been fired from his job, marking the second time such a move has been made since the facility opened in 2010.

Roger Swanson, who took over the post officially at the start of the year, lasted just more than seven months in the job. VenuWorks, which manages and operates the facility, made the move Wednesday.

"Mr. Swanson was dismissed for undisclosed violations of the VenuWorks code of conduct as well as not upholding VenuWorks professional standards," a news release issued this morning said.

In the news release, VenuWorks President Steven L. Peters said "VenuWorks prides itself as an upstanding and professional company and does not tolerate any conduct that does not represent VenuWorks or its employees at the Sanford Center in the best possible way."

VenuWorks said it would not comment further on Swanson's dismissal, citing employee privacy.

The Sanford Center opened October 2010.

Swanson was named the interim executive director last October, after the sudden resignation of Bob LeBarron. VenuWorks then named Swanson to the position full-time starting in January.

VenuWorks said it has begun a national search for a replacement. In the interim, Regional Vice President Andy Long will oversee day-to-day operations.

Check back later for more on this story.

Steve Wagner

Grand Forks Herald Editor Steve Wagner can be reached at 701.780.1104 and He joined the Herald in April 2013, and previously worked as editor at the Bemidji (Minn.) Pioneer and in several roles -- including news director, investigative reporter and crime reporter - at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. His reporting experience includes coverage of Dru Sjodin's disappearance and the federal death penalty case for her murderer, Alfonso Rodriguez Jr., along with several investigative projects. In his spare time, Wagner is an avid runner and occasionally writes about his experiences on his blog, Addicted to Running.

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