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Northern Minn. Superintendent Charged With DWI On School Grounds, Placed On Paid Suspension

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The superintendent of a northern Minnesota school district has been charged with DWI after a deputy allegedly found him drunk in a district vehicle parked outside of a school.

Michael Gadbois, 55, is charged with second-degree DWI, open bottle and possessing alcohol on school grounds, according to court documents filed in Kittson County Monday.

On Wednesday morning, the school board for the district issued a statement saying that Gadbois had been placed on paid suspension.

"Although this was unexpected, the School Board knows we have a great staff, wonderful students, and understanding parents that are capable of handling this situation with patience and grace. The School Board is working hard to minimize interruptions due to this situation, and hopes to share an update soon," the statement read.

According to a criminal complaint, on Saturday, a deputy noticed a Tri-County School van parked in front of the school, with the rear hatch open and music playing. A door to the school was open, and several cases of soda were sitting near the vehicle, leading the deputy to believe someone was unloading supplies.

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The deputy came back a half hour later, finding Gadbois in the driver's seat, with his head between the steering wheel and the door. The deputy approached him, and when Gadbois looked up, the deputy noticed his "eyes were very bloodshot and watery" and he had "a very strong odor of alcoholic beverage."

Gadbois was mumbling and moving slowly, the complaint states. The deputy found Gadbois' wallet in the van and handed it to Gadbois, asking him to produce his license.

The deputy intended to perform field sobriety tests, but Gadbois "started to fall backwards into the driver's door as he was too intoxicated to keep his balance." He was arrested, and a breath test at the sheriff's office put his blood alcohol content at 0.21, more than twice the legal limit, according to the complaint.

Michael Rene Gadbois
(credit: Kittson County Sheriff's Office)

This is Gadbois' third DWI, the other two occurring in Alaska in 2015 and 2017.

A day after the arrest, a school employee called the deputy to say he found a "half full bottle of vodka" in the van.

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