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A former police chief of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota Nation and a tribal sergeant have been convicted on several counts related to stealing money from a federal police grant
Forty-one-year-old Charles Ward of Browns Valley, Minnesota, and
35-year-old Burton Phillips of Watertown were found guilty in U-S
District Court of conspiracy to defraud, submitting false claims and filing false documents with the federal government.
Ward also was convicted of illegal conversion of federal funds. U-S Attorney Karen Schreier says the convictions stemmed from misuse of a 1997 federal grant that was supposed to be used to beef up the police force.
Both Ward and Phillips were employed by the tribe at the time. The tribal police department received a large grant to hire additional officers, but Schreier says Ward and Phillips directed at least five-thousand dollars of the money to themselves for overtime wages.
U-S District Judge Charles Kornmann of Aberdeen has set October 25th for sentencing.
(Copyright 1999 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)