Northwest Minnesota superintendent on paid leave after DWI charge on school grounds

The superintendent of a northwest Minnesota school district has been placed on paid suspension after being charged with driving while intoxicated.

Michael Gadbois, 55, was found drunk in a school minivan parked outside of the Tri-County School Saturday in Karlstad, Minnesota. A Kittson County deputy tried to perform sobriety tests on Gadbois, but "he was too intoxicated to keep his balance," so the deputy arrested the superintendent and took him to the sheriff's office around 9:20 p.m., the criminal complaint stated. His breath test put his blood alcohol at 0.21, over twice the legal limit.

According to Kittson County court documents, Gadbois has been charged with open bottle, possessing alcohol on school grounds, and second-degree DWI. This is his third DWI in the last six years, following one in 2015 and another in 2017.

The district's school board released a statement saying Gadbois was placed on paid suspension Tuesday, pending the school's investigation. Gadbois was hired at the beginning of this school year, according to the law firm representing the school.

"Although this was unexpected, the School Board knows we have a great staff, wonderful students, and understanding parents that are capable of handling this situation with patience and grace," the school board wrote. "The School Board is working hard to minimize interruptions due to this situation, and hopes to share an update soon."

The school board is holding a special meeting on Friday to discuss an interim superintendent position, according to the law firm representing the school.