Former Minnesota school superintendent pleads guilty to public corruption

Rodney Thompson was accused of using his position obtain personal benefits from a company interested in being awarded contracts with the Shakopee School District.

SHAKOPEE, Minn. - A former Shakopee school superintendent pleaded guilty to corruptly soliciting a bribe, the U.S. attorney’s office announced Thursday.

Rodney Keith Thompson, 53, entered his guilty plea Nov. 15 in U.S. District Court in St. Paul.

According to Thompson’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, Thompson used his position and authority as superintendent to obtain personal benefits from a company interested in being awarded contracts with the Shakopee School District. He solicited home improvement projects, personal travel and attendance at sporting events in exchange for contracts with the school district.

“Mr. Thompson was a trusted member of the Shakopee community. Parents, teachers, staff, and students trusted him to act with integrity to make the right decisions in the best interest of the Shakopee schools,” said U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald of Minnesota. “He chose to violate that trust and act on what served his own interest. With his guilty plea today, I hope the Shakopee community has a sense of closure.”

FBI Special Agent in Charge Jill Sanborn said that Thompson had an obligation to act in the best interest of Shakopee schools, staff, and students he was responsible for.

Sentencing for Thompson, who resigned from his post in July 2017, is scheduled for March 29.