SHAKOPEE, Minn. (KMSP) - UPDATE: Thompson entered a guilty plea Thursday in federal court for accepting a bribe while leading the school district. A judge still must sign off after an investigation.
A former superintendent of the Shakopee School District has been federally charged with corruptly soliciting a bribe after he allegedly had a construction company - which worked with the school district - pay for him to attend Vikings games and complete improvement work on his home.
Rod Thompson was Shakopee Schools superintendent from 2011 to June 30, 2017. He was fired following a six-month investigation into his personal use of the district credit card. He was charged in 2017 with 21 counts of theft, embezzlement and more after he allegedly stole more than $70,000 in public funds while he was superintendent. Earlier this year, turned himself in to police on charges of unauthorized computer access, computer damage and theft.
According to court documents filed Tuesday in federal court in Minnesota, Rod Thompson used his authority as superintendent to get a construction company to complete remodeling work at his home for free. From July 2012 to November 2015, the company spent $44,422 on improvement work on Thompson's home, including a remodeled basement and installing a concrete patio slab.
From November 2009 to September of 2016, Thompson billed the construction company for sporting events and personal travel. Over this period, the company paid more than $5,000 for Thompson to attend Minnesota Vikings games, Minnesota Timberwolves games, Minnesota Twins games, martial arts events and to stay at a luxury hotel during a personal trip in Nashville.
Thompson allegedly told a leader at the company that the business needed to pay the expenses in order for the company to be awarded contracts with Shakopee Schools. While Thompson was superintendent, the school district awarded this company with contracts that "substantially exceeded" the amounts Thompson billed the company for his personal expenses.
Shakopee Schools released the following statement in regards to the latest charge:
"We are appreciative of the due diligence put forth by federal authorities in this case. The information revealed during the investigations - local and federal - against Thompson have been challenging for both the district and school community at large.
"While the entire investigation surrounding Thompson has impacted our district by taking the focus away from the excellent work of our staff and students, we are optimistic for our future and hopeful that this long and difficult process will soon conclude."