Shakopee police searched Superintendent Rod Thompson's home and district office Thursday, according to Scott County court documents. 

Thompson has been under police investigation since May 31 for personal use of his district credit card, which was first reported by the Shakopee Valley News.

In June 2016, Thompson reimbursed the district $3,500 for more than 40 personal purchases he made in 2015 and 2016, some of which were shipped to the district office and some to his home. He said the purchases were unintentionally made on his district credit card.

Some of the purchases Thompson made with his district card and had shipped to his house were not reimbursed, including a 42-inch LG TV. District spokeswoman Ashley McCray has said the TV was returned to the district office immediately for use in the Welcome Center. However, police recovered the TV in a basement bedroom of Thompson's house when they conducted their search last week. 

According to the search warrant and supporting affidavit, School Board Chairman Scott Swanson directed district staff to look for the TV last week, but it wasn't found.

Director of Instructional Technology Bryan Drozd told police there has never been a 42-inch LG TV in the district, according to the affidavit.

"(Drozd) reviewed a 32-inch LG TV which was believed to be the TV that Thompson brought in to the district office that was delivered to his home address," the warrant states. "Drozd stated he researched the 32-inch LG TV located in the Welcome Center and discovered it was purchased with Thompson's person (sic) credit card."

When police interviewed Thompson over the phone Thursday, Thompson told them the TV was in the basement of his home. Thompson said he donated the 32-inch TV to the Welcome Center and kept the 42-inch TV for himself. He told police he reimbursed the district for the difference in price, according to the warrant. 

Police also recovered an Amazon Kindle and MacBook from Thompson's house during their search. A MacBook Pro was one of the non-reimbursed purchases Thompson had bought and shipped to his house. 

McCray has said the laptop was set up by the technology department and was being used in the district office as a backup device or for presentations.

Drozd told police Thompson had requested a MacBook Pro from the technology department, but he wanted specific features on it that would take more time to receive, so Thompson ordered it himself with his district credit card.

"Drozd assisted Thompson with some basic initial setup of the device, but he has rarely seen it beyond the setup," the warrant states.

During their investigation into the whereabouts of the TV, police obtained a statement from Assistant Superintendent John Bezek. Bezek said it is "odd to do it in reverse," referring to an employee reimbursing the district rather than the district reimbursing an employee for incurred expenses. 

"He stated, 'Something doesn't smell right,' referring to Thompson's P-card purchases," the warrant states. "He found it irregular that anyone would use a P-card to purchase personal items and/or have them delivered to their home address."

Police also spoke with Finance Director Mike Burlager, who is retiring at the end of the month. Burlager told police Thompson is always late providing receipts for his credit card purchases.

"Burlager stated 104 employees typically respond to the request (for receipts every two weeks) and provide the receipts. He stated one employee does not, which is Thompson," the warrant states.

Thompson's executive assistant, Sarah Koehn, told police she has been "pleading" with Thompson to provide about 20 or 30 receipts for his credit card transactions over the last two years. 

"Thompson tells her that he intends to reimburse the district for the 20-30 specific transactions so he questions why there is a need to provide receipts," the warrant states.

According to the warrant, Thompson provided the receipts to Koehn in late May when a records request for his credit card transactions was received by the district.

Around the time Swanson asked district staff to conduct a search for the LG TV, he also asked staff to inventory electronic items in Thompson's office and workroom. Koehn and Administrative Assistant Angela Hutcheson did the inventory together, and placed several electronic items in plastic bins in Thompson's workroom.

"(Hutcheson) noticed a small black speaker in a zipper case located on Thompson's coffee table that had been missing for over a year. She noticed a Bose speaker in a handbag in the workroom that she'd never seen before," according to the warrant.

Police recovered several items from Thompson's district office, including an Apple TV device, MacBook, Bose speaker and several electronic storage devices. 

The police investigation is ongoing. Detective Sgt. John Buetow said the police have made several requests of the school district and are waiting on more information.

The Valley News has requested comment from Thompson. 

Reporter and Lifestyle Guide Coordinator

Amanda McKnight has been a Southwest News Media reporter for four years. Amanda is passionate about accountability journalism and describes herself as spunky and assertive. She enjoys running, knitting, exploring nature and going on adventures with her hu

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