Sacred Trust

True-crime research, novel writing research, and updates.


BLOG POST #241: This week, I’m sharing research on a true-crime involving a school district superintendent.

With 25 years of experience, he became the superintendent of a K-12 school district with approximately 8,000 students. Shortly after his promotion he began working on a $198 million bond to build new schools and renovate others. The bond passed.

Four years later, a $102 million bond passed to build an addition to one school and improve technology. He sounds like a persuasive guy.

The Superintendent said about the bond, “You know, the first thing I really feel is a huge sense of gratitude.”

Talk about persuasive…I’ve heard of unusual salary enhancement agreements, but this one tops the list. Three years after becoming the superintendent he requested an Adoption Benefit rather than a salary increase. He and his wife had recently adopted a child and they wanted to adopt another. The adoption expenses were close to what his increase would’ve been. This was a win-win—the district wouldn’t have to pay the added roll-up costs that go along with a salary increase.

A school board member said, “It’s really smart, wise investment. Everybody wins on this one.”

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, for the entire time he held the position, the superintendent solicited home improvement projects, personal travel, and sporting event tickets from construction contractors for awarding contracts with the district.

He also used the district credit card to make personal purchases such as first-class airfare, event tickets, and electronics.

The ex-superintendent in a plea agreement admitted to stealing thousands of dollars from the school district, pleaded guilty to soliciting a bribe.

The judge sentenced him to two years in prison and pay $74,000 in restitution.

The FBI Special Agent in Charge said, “The defendant held a position of public trust with an obligation to act in the best interest of the school district. The defendant chose to violate the sacred trust by making a conscious decision to steal…”

Remember the Adoption Benefit? He wrote fraudulent checks to receive reimbursement from the district for adoption expenses that he’d never paid. In the district court complaint, they referred to this as The Adoption Swindle.

After serving fourteen months, the Department of Corrections allowed the ex-superintendent to enter a work release program to serve the rest of his sentence.

What are your thoughts about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about true-crime and books.

Do you know of a crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading! Wellness wishes you you and your family.


Source: U.S. Dept. of Justice, Star Tribune, The Post and Courier, MPR News, SW News Media,

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