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Ex-Shakopee superintendent charged with bribing a contractor

Rod Thompson is already facing embezzlement and theft charges.

Former Shakopee Public Schools superintendent Rod Thompson is now facing a federal charge of attempting soliciting a bribe, in a charge announced by U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald on Tuesday.

The 53 year old is already facing a multitude of charges, including embezzlement, theft by swindle, and receiving stolen property, relating to his time as the head of Shakopee's school district.

But now he's also being accused of trying to bribe a potential contractor while he was superintendent.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Thompson allegedly solicited home improvement projects, personal travel and tickets to sporting events from a company, in exchange for awarding contracts with the school district.

The charges were brought as a result of an investigation by the FBI.

According to court documents, Thompson got the construction company to carry out more than $44,000 worth of improvement work on his home for free between 2012 and 2015.

The company also spent more than $5,000 for Thompson to attend Vikings, Timberwolves and Twins games, as well as a stay at a luxury hotel in Nashville.

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He told the company they needed to do this if they wanted to be awarded contracts with Shakopee schools, and in the end the company was given contracts worth far more than it had spent on Thompson.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Shakopee district said: "While the entire investigation surrounding Thompson has impacted our district by taking the focus away from the excellent work of our staff and students, we are optimistic for our future and hopeful that this long and difficult process will soon conclude."

Thompson is already facing more than 20 charges after he was accused of embezzling nearly $74,000 from the school district over five years.

He is expected to make a plea deal on these charges at a hearing scheduled for next week.

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