ONAMIA, MINN. - The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe says they removed their chief executive after discovering that thousands of dollars in tribal money was misspent on improvements to her home.

The band's solicitor general, Rjay Brunkow, says an 18-month investigation found that Melanie Benjamin used falsified invoices to get the tribe to pay for about $21,000 in work.

Benjamin, who denies any wrongdoing, was removed Wednesday following a joint session of band elected officials. At the time, the band did not detail the allegations against her.

Brunkow also said an internal audit found Benjamin had improperly given herself a high-roller card at the tribe's casinos and comped herself for about $52,000 in meals and rooms.

Benjamin was elected CEO in 2000 and began her third term last July.