An investigation of the athletic director, Matt Shomper, at Tippecanoe High School was started after the The Tipp City Exempted Village Schools superintendent approached police about irregularities in the athletic department, according to a search warrant affidavit.
Some of the issues Superintendent Gretta Kumpf approached police about included allegations of Shomper employing family members, utilizing a company he owns to facilitate a band trip and earning around $55,000 in mileage reimbursement in five years, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit was part of requests to search Shomper’s home, his car and the athletic department at Tippecanoe High School. The warrants, executed Feb. 12, were unsealed Wednesday by Judge Gary Nasal of Miami County Municipal Court.
The affidavit signed by Detective Sgt. Chris Graham of the Tipp City Police Department said Kumpf “brought several main issues” to discuss Sept. 28 that also included an alleged fraudulent invoice for $1,025 to a motor coach company and allegations Shomper “does not utilize widely used counting measures at the gates of sporting events where cash is received.”
The school district placed Shomper on paid administrative leave Feb. 12.
Kumpf said Thursday the information provided to police came from an audit by state auditors who “noticed irregularities within the high school Athletic Department.” The items mentioned in the affidavit such as counting of gate receipt money were those noted by auditors.
“The district has implemented increased checks and balances for the athletic department, such as ticket sales reconciliation form and protocol for hiring athletic support staff,” Kumpf said.
The affidavit said that a subsequent investigation that extended to other agencies pointed to possible crimes of theft in office, tampering with records, having an unlawful interest in public contract, soliciting or accepting improper compensation and representation by present or former public official or employee prohibited.
No charges have been filed in the investigation.
Graham said an investigation package to a special prosecutor out of the state auditor’s office expected soon.
The search warrants were requested to help investigators gain more information on possible crimes.
“A search warrant at these various locations will aid (the special agent) and his forensic computer team in locating any and all electronic devices that could contain records or communication regarding the alleged offenses,” Graham wrote. The same rationale was used for the request for other financial documents.
Other agencies involved in the investigation include the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Ohio Ethics Commission and the State Auditor’s Office. Each agency was responsible for a different aspect of the case.
Graham provided examples including the involvement of a BCI investigator who he wrote contacted various New York City area vendors to determine how Shomper presented himself when making New York trip arrangements such as lodging and ticket reservations for the school band.
The affidavit also discusses subpoenas obtained to access bank account records associated with Shomper and cell phone data and a judge’s approval of a request to place a GPS tracking unit on Shomper’s car in January.
The historical phone data was used by auditor’s investigators to track athletic events and reimbursement files from the district Graham wrote. “…Mr. Shomper was reimbursed for travel and no supporting documentation exists, specifically no receipts for purchases to Sam’s Club, to support that he should have been reimbursed,” according to Graham.
Graham said, agents “examined all of the bank records that had been received through the grand jury subpoena … and they discovered large sums of cash and checks being deposited.” The state ethics investigator was looking into possible ethics violations including hiring of relatives.
The search warrant inventories show those searching Feb. 12 seized cell phones, computers various documents, an Ohio High School Athletic Association Southwest Ticket report, a Broadway Bound trip binder, pending purchase orders and other documents/paperwork.
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