Former Indian school official faces charges
The former superintendent of the Circle of Nations School in Wahpeton, N.D., faces a two-count federal indictment for embezzling funds. Joyce Burr, 57, is accused of taking money from the off-reservation boarding school between July 1995 and Janu...
The former superintendent of the Circle of Nations School in Wahpeton, N.D., faces a two-count federal indictment for embezzling funds.
Joyce Burr, 57, is accused of taking money from the off-reservation boarding school between July 1995 and January 2001.
The school is chartered through the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe.
Wednesday, Burr made her initial appearance in Fargo's U.S. Federal Court. She pleaded not guilty to embezzlement by a member of a tribunal organization and theft from a tribunal organization.
The embezzlement charge carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The theft charge carries a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
If convicted, Burr would be required to pay restitution. The indictment states Burr took more than $6,000 from the Circle of Nations School.
However, the amount she is accused of taking from the school was not disclosed.
Between July 1995 and January 2001, Burr took money the school received from grants, contracts and other types of federal assistance for her benefit, court records say.
The FBI, with help from the Office of Inspector General, investigated the case for about 18 months.
U.S. Magistrate Karen Klein appointed Irv Nodland, a Bismarck lawyer, to represent Burr.
A March 17 trial was scheduled, but the date will likely be moved because Burr is a dialysis patient three days a week and Nodland has a different trial planned at the time.
The attorneys told Klein that the trial would take three or four days.
Burr was released on her own recognizance. She is not considered a flight risk or danger to the community.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Steven P. Wagner at (701) 241-5542