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Regional library director's job remains up in air

WILLMAR, Minn. - Pioneerland Library System's board of directors will be holding another closed meeting to discuss their relationship with Mark Ranum, executive director of the regional system.

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WILLMAR, Minn. - Pioneerland Library System’s board of directors will be holding another closed meeting to discuss their relationship with Mark Ranum, executive director of the regional system.

The full board of directors met in a closed meeting on Thursday evening in Willmar for one hour and 45 minutes to discuss undisclosed allegations against Ranum, but announced no decision. The board reconvened in an open session and approved a motion to continue discussions “pending further documentation” in a closed session in January.

A closed session is permitted under the state’s Open Meeting Law for the purposes of “preliminary consideration” of allegations against an employee. All board actions must be taken in open session.

Attorney Pam Galanter, a labor relations attorney with the Frank Madden Law Firm, of Plymouth, addressed the board during the closed session. She had been retained to address “concerns” some board members have raised about the director.

Ranum earns $68,898 a year.  

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Until Oct. 31, he had simultaneously served as director of the Worthington-based Plum Creek Library system until his contract there was terminated.

The Plum Creek board of directors fired him after receiving a report that Ranum had used the Plum Creek credit card to make $21,697.84 in personal purchases over a 14-month period. He repaid the purchases prior to the system’s annual audit.

Information on the credit card usage was forwarded to the Nobles County Attorney’s office and State Auditor’s office by auditors for the Plum Creek system.

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