Rapp under federal investigationFederal authorities are looking into allegations regarding a former Dickinson employee who is accused of accepting gifts, City Administrator Shawn Kessel said Friday.
Federal authorities are looking into allegations regarding a former Dickinson employee who is accused of accepting gifts, City Administrator Shawn Kessel said Friday.
Skip Rapp, former Dickinson Public Works manager, who resigned effective Thursday, is accused of accepting gifts in violation of a city ordinance that prohibits remuneration from outside sources.
Though he admitted to accepting gift cards in the past, new allegations indicate he may have accepted more than just cards.
Kessel would not identify what federal agencies are involved.
Though he is still under investigation, the city is willing to hire Rapp as a consultant, Kessel said.
If a consultation does take place, it would likely only be a day long because he has knowledge of city projects others may not, he added.
City ordinance states under no circumstances shall a city employee accept any reward, gift or other form of remuneration in addition to allowable compensation as described from any source other than the city for performance of their duties or based on the employee’s position with the city.
“There’s allegations of gifts being provided for orders that he made, things of that nature,” Kessel said. “I want to be clear that if criminal charges are sought, it’s not likely to be sought locally, it’s likely to be sought at a different level than local charges.”
Prior to Rapp’s Thursday resignation, he was placed on unpaid administrative leave June 25.
ATCO International and RITEC Industrial Products, which are chemical providers, gave the city information on the matter.
The allegations involve more than gift cards, Kessel said. He wouldn’t elaborate, but it did not include repairs or work in exchange for anything.
Rapp is accused of accepting gifts from Wal-Mart, Bass Pro, Sears and Cabela’s stores since 2002, Kessel said.
However, he said he doesn’t know how much Rapp accepted.
“That’s all he’s admitted to, is gift cards,” Kessel said.
The allegations stem from former ATCO employees that work for RITEC, Kessel said.
Allegations similar to those against Rapp exist with federal employees, Kessel said.
In May, Rapp received a written warning from the city for accepting three $50 Sears gift cards, which Rapp said he received in 2006. Investigations indicated those gift cards were actually purchased in December.
“When you try to locate the history of a card, they don’t necessarily tell you who bought them,” Kessel said. “Obviously we think it’s ATCO, but we’re not positive.”
He is not aware of any prior disciplinary measures taken by the city against Rapp.
“I have to admit I’ve never gone back into his personal file to find that out either,” Kessel said.
Kessel doesn’t know when the investigation will be completed.
“It just depends on how the investigation of ATCO goes, but when they wrap up their investigation, ours would be wrapped up as well, because we just don’t know if Skip will figure into that broader investigation or not,” Kessel said.
Attempts to reach Rapp, as well as officials from ATCO and RITEC were unsuccessful Friday. Authorities from the FBI, North Dakota Attorney General’s Office and other federal agencies said information could not be released.