By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Shakopee’s former superintendent of schools appeared in front of a judge Wednesday in connection with criminal charges of alleged personal use of a district-issued credit card.

Rod Thompson faces felony charges of theft by swindle, embezzlement of public funds and receiving stolen property.

“He’s very anxious to defend himself on these charges,” said Peter Wold, Thompson’s attorney.

Thompson was arrested Tuesday night after a six-month investigation.

According to the criminal complaint, Thompson used that credit card to buy jewelry, cowboy boots, a TV and an Xbox. He also allegedly used the card to pay for airfare and hotels.

Wold says things are not as they appear.

rod thompson1 Fmr. Shakopee Superintendent Accused Of Swindle Makes 1st Court Appearance

Rod Thompson (credit: CBS)

“The truth is a different story than you’ve read in the complaint,” Wold said. “I promise you there’s a defense to every allegation there. Some are fully baseless, the others are negotiated parts of his contract.”

Wold says Thompson took care of the purchases he made with the district-issued card.

“He used P Card to buy those things and they were immediately cancelled, many of them the next day,” Wold said. “The school was regularly reimbursed for charges.”

Carrie Ferris and Kristine Robinson are part of the group of concerned citizens who first complained about Thompson’s improper use of a credit card.

“Not all the charges have been paid back,” Ferris said. “It was, as the attorney said, an on-going, habitual behavior.”

Both women are upset bail was set, and Thompson can walk free.

“I am disappointed that he is able to leave,” Robinson said.

They believe this case runs deeper than buying a television and Xbox.

Concerned citizens say this is far from over because of the federal probe into district spending and alleged financial kickbacks.

Thompson’s bond was set at $100,000 without conditions, or $40,000 with conditions.

His next court appearance is set for Feb. 7.


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