Shakopee superintendent's purchases on district credit card under investigation

Police have opened an investigation into Shakopee Public Schools concerning the superintendent’s use of his district credit card.

A police report, dated May 25, notes a complaint by multiple citizens that the superintendent made improper charges on a district credit card. Nearly a week later, on Wednesday, May 31, a Fox 9 camera caught two officers walking out of the district office.

“We did have investigators there collecting information on a complaint we received. Because it's an active case I am unable to comment further,” Jeff Tate, the chief for Shakopee Police, wrote in an e-mail.

A district spokesperson told Fox 9 the district office is cooperating with authorities, and that Superintendent Rod Thompson remains in “active” employment. The spokesperson said Thompson is currently on a pre-planned vacation.

On Tuesday, Thompson made the decision to cancel his district credit card indefinitely, according to the district. They also provided a copy of a $3,500 check from Thompson for reimbursing the district for accidental personal purchases on his district card.

The investigation follows increasing scrutiny from community members.

“We as a group are finally relived someone else is looking into this issue after so many months of us individually and collectively trying to get information from the district,” said Carrie Ferris, a resident who told Fox 9 she contacted both the police and State Auditor with concerns.

Community members began organizing after it was revealed the district had a $4.5 million budget shortfall due to “errors.”

“We just want to get to the truth, wherever that leads us. We don’t know where the story goes,” Ferris said.

No school board members have responded to Fox 9’s requests for comment.