Long-time Waconia school board member John Weinand has resigned his post following a weekend arrest and a Monday court appearance where two felony charges were lodged against him.
Weinand faces a charge of theft-take/use/transfer of moveable property with no consent and a charge of receiving stolen property, according to court documents filed in Carver County’s 1st Judicial District court on Aug. 30.
According to court documents, the charges stem from a June 23, 2020, incident where a Carver County Sheriff’s deputy responded to an abandoned vehicle report on Hwy. 212, just east of the Public Works Headquarters in Benton Township. According to the documents, the vehicle was marked as a City of Minnetonka vehicle, and had a blown-out front passenger tire and damage to the passenger side mirror and door. The deputy contacted the Minnetonka Police Department, and learned that the vehicle had been potentially stolen from a city shop. The vehicle was moved back to the Minnetonka city lot.
During the course of the investigation, officers discovered a truck in the Minnetonka Ice Arena A parking lot parked next to a city vehicle. Upon further investigation, the truck was found to be registered to a company owned by a spouse of a Minnetonka city employee. Deputies traveled to the Norwood Young America residence of the Minnetonka employee. The spouse of the city employee said the vehicle – which was left unlocked with keys in the vehicle – had went missing sometime during the evening or overnight hours on June 22, 2020. The city employee’s spouse went on to implicate Weinand in the disappearance of the vehicle, saying that the city employee had been partially responsible for Weinand’s termination from employment with the City of Minnetonka after Weinand had allegedly been discovered stealing city property, according to court documents.
Minnetonka police officers interviewed Weinand at his Waconia residence on June 30, 2020, and Weinand acknowledged being familiar with the vehicle and admitted to probably using it in the past. When asked about his whereabouts on June 22, 2020, Weinand said he had attended a virtual school board meeting until about 10 p.m. He further stated that he took his son for a night-time drive around 2 a.m. to fulfill his son’s instructor permit requirement for obtaining a license.
Deputies obtained a search warrant for Weinand’s cell phone records, which indicated he had been in the general vicinity of where the stolen vehicle was discovered.
An anonymous tip to Crimestoppers also implicated Weinand in the theft of the vehicle. The anonymous caller reportedly said that Weinand had described the theft of the vehicle and subsequent crash as a revenge plot against the aforementioned Minnetonka city employee. The anonymous tipster allegedly said that the scheme was designed to look like someone had taken the city vehicle and got into a drunken driving accident on the way to Norwood Young America, thus implicating the aforementioned city employee.
Weinand was arrested and booked into Carver County Jail on Aug. 27, according to jail records. Weinand was subsequently charged in district court on Monday, and resigned his position on the Waconia school board on Tuesday, according to district officials.
ISD 110 issued a statement on Monday, saying that the district has “been informed of the allegations involving John Weinand. We are following developments and reviewing our options.” Weinand could not be reached for comment by press time.
If convicted, Weinand could face a $100,000 fine and up to 20 years in prison on the auto theft charge; and a $10,000 fine and up to 5 years in prison on the receiving stolen property charge.
Weinand has served on the Waconia school board for approximately 19 years, according to district officials.