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Dave Olson, Published December 09 2013

Prosecutor: No charges against former Oakes, N.D., principal

OAKES, N.D. – No criminal charges will be filed against Don Warren, who recently resigned as Oakes High School principal and athletic director, said Dickey County State’s Attorney Gary Neuharth.

In a written statement, Neuharth said he considered filing a number of charges against Warren, including criminal trespass, simple assault and disorderly conduct.

Neuharth said he arrived at his decision not to file charges after reviewing incident reports from the Oakes Police Department and consulting with Oakes Police Chief Marke Roberts and patrol officer Justin Prochnow.

Neuharth’s written statement doesn’t explain precisely why charges will not be forthcoming, but Neuharth cited state law pertaining to the responsibilities of a prosecutor. He referred to American Bar Association standards regarding how prosecutors should decide whether to initiate or continue investigations.

Warren resigned Nov. 27 after an internal investigation began into incidents involving a student.

A memo Superintendent Josh Johnson sent to Warren refers to three incidents, including two occasions when Warren entered the home of the student without permission after the student did not show up for class.

In a third incident, Warren was in a classroom when he threatened to drop (the student) “like a bad habit” after a teacher asked Warren for help with unruly students.

In that incident, Warren also threatened to rip the student’s head off “and spit down the hole,” according to the memo Johnson sent to Warren.

A message left for Warren Monday was not returned.

A Facebook page titled “Thank You Don Warren!” was started last week as a place for supporters of Warren to post messages.

Monday’s news that charges would not be filed against the former school administrator was applauded by visitors to the Facebook page, which had 460 members as of late Monday.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555