Burgum suspends four Oberon School Board members pending outcome of audit amid criminal charges

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BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum, in consultation with State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler, has taken executive action to suspend four members of the Oberon School Board pending the outcome of an audit that was requested after criminal charges were filed against the members last week.

Board members Carolyn Nelson, Corey Ploium, Jacob Hegland and Karen Peterson were suspended Saturday from the five-member Oberon School Board.

Under state law, the governor may suspend a school board member if it’s determined, in consultation with the state superintendent of public instruction, that it’s in the best interest of the state and school district pending the results of an audit.

The North Dakota State Auditor has been requested to commence an audit of the Oberon School District based upon allegations of financial irregularities uncovered during an investigation by the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Nelson, Ploium, Hegland and Peterson were charged last week with felony misapplication of entrusted property in Benson County District Court

The State Board of Public School Education will appoint a sufficient number of school board members to achieve a quorum of the board.

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