School director faces embezzlement charges

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Last summer, the Minneapolis school district revoked the charter of the 40-year-old Oh Day Aki/Heart of the Earth school, a school originally founded by the American Indian Movement that had become a district-sponsored charter school. Now the school’s former director Joel Pourier, has been charged with “embezzling $1.38 million from the school for American Indian children and spending it on houses, cars and nights at strip clubs”, according to the Strib. Pourier’s attorney says he will plead not guilty. According to the Strib’s account, which should serve as a warning beacon to all schools and nonprofits:

The school hired Pourier seven years ago as finance director; it later named him executive director. Its board never looked at Pourier’s resume, said Plunkett, which was largely fabricated, according to Friday’s complaint.

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– Mary Turck