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Amundson resigns as orchestra president

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Jeffery Amundson, who served as president of the Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale, has resigned, board members announced this morning.

The board of directors has accepted his resignation

In a letter to the board, Amundson wrote, "I want to personally thank you and the RSOC community for the opportunity to serve this great institution these past four years."

Members of the board and staff will continue to handle the administrative responsibilities of the RSOC while the board completes the process of identifying a new chief executive, a news release says.

Amundson, 45, was charged in January in Olmsted County District Court with four counts of felony financial exploitation. He's accused of stealing more than $15,000 from the alleged victim while acting as the man's power of attorney.

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Amundson made his first court appearance March 26, when he waived his time requirement for a hearing and waived extradition.

His initial appearance has been set for May 18.

The RSOC initially placed Amundson on paid leave Feb. 1, and announced he would no longer be actively involved in the organization, adding that its own financial integrity has not been compromised.

Board members moved him to unpaid status on April 1, "due to the uncertainty of the date of resolution of the case and to conserve the symphony's funds."

The RSOC assured its members through a statement last month that its own financial information is reviewed on a monthly basis. Those have never revealed any "financial irregularities," the board says.

Other members of the staff and board will tend to the business of the organization until a successor is named.

Amundson was most recently president and chief executive officer of the Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale, where he had worked since April 2011. He previously served as director of development at the History Center of Olmsted County.

According to the criminal complaint, an employee at a licensed group home in Rochester told authorities that Amundson had been spending the victim's money on himself, and the victim was only receiving $20 per month. That prompted authorities to gather the victim's financial records from 2010-2013. An analysis of those records revealed numerous suspicious debit card purchases, including many restaurant and online purchases, as well as cash withdrawals by Amundson, according to the complaint.

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When questioned by authorities, Amundson denied stealing the funds, claiming the victim owed him $20,000 because he had "paid for the victim's apartment and helped him get Social Security benefits and medical assistance," according to the complaint.

Related Topics: FINANCE
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