A lawyer hired to investigate allegations against a member of the Farmington school board is charging the school district $10,000.

The bill comes two months after the school board hired attorney Jim Martin to look into alleged misconduct by Tim Burke, whom fellow board members have accused of bombarding district administrators with data requests and false accusations. After reviewing a summary of Martin's findings last month, the board voted to censure Burke and forward his case to the Dakota County Attorney for possible criminal charges.

Burke's alleged offenses include disclosing private personnel data and information discussed in closed board meetings.

The county attorney's office said last week that it will not pursue charges against Burke because his crimes, if any, fell short of felonies. Instead, the case was referred to Elliott Knetsch, a prosecutor for the city of Farmington. Knetsch said Monday that he has not yet reviewed the allegations against Burke.

Martin's investigation included a review of district e-mails and other documents, as well as interviews with Burke and more than a dozen board members and district employees. His report runs to hundreds of pages.

Board members had hoped to keep the cost of the investigation under $10,000.

Costs initially hit $14,394 before Martin reduced them to $12,000, according to an e-mail sent Sunday to board members from board chairwoman Veronica Walter. In the e-mail, which was provided to the Star Tribune by Burke on Monday, Walter expressed "extreme disappointment" that costs exceeded $10,000.

But on Monday afternoon, Martin agreed to reduce the bill to $10,000, according to Mick Waldspurger, an attorney for the board who hired Martin.

SARAH LEMAGIE