Rude’s future on school board still uncertain

Published 11:32 am Saturday, November 7, 2009

The verdict facing on-leave Austin police captain and school board member Curt Rude could put the future of his position on the school board in jeopardy.

A 12-member jury found Rude guilty of felony drug possession and gross misdemeanor interfering with property in official custody. He was found not guilty on one count of felony theft.

Judge Kevin Lund said after the verdict that he will strongly consider applying state statute 152.18 during sentencing, which essentially drops a first time drug offense from someone’s record.

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“There is a lot of information that the Minnesota Association of School Boards still needs before they can make a recommendation to us,” Superintendent David Krenz said.

If Rude is removed from his seat on the school board, it would be up to the board to find a replacement, according to Bob Lowe, the Minnesota School Boards Association Management Services Director.

Another election cannot be held.

The board could take in applications, or appoint a previous member or candidate, Lowe said.

The replacement board member would hold the seat for the remainder of Rude’s term, or until the next election, whichever is sooner.

“Right now everything is speculative, so we cannot say what exactly is going to happen until the judge’s sentencing,” Lowe said.