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John Lindner, 55

Former school board member in California gets 60 days in jail for stealing bond campaign funds

John Linder, 55, took money raised for a 2010 bond campaign and spent it on himself.

A former school board member in the San Jose, Calif., area has been sentenced to serve 60 days in jail after being convicted of spending money raised for a public school bond measure on himself and then hiding it in required campaign disclosure filings.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office says John Lindner, 55, pleaded no contest in February to grand theft, perjury, and violations of the Political Reform Act.

Prosecutors asserted that Linder, a member of the Franklin-McKinley (Calif.) School Board until he resigned earlier this year, wrongfully spent $28,000 that had been raised for a 2010 bond election campaign. Linder was treasurer for the campaign committee.

An investigation showed that Lindner spent $28,000 of the campaign’s money on airline tickets, lumber, and other personal expenses. He also loaned $12,000 of the campaign money to a relative, which was later paid back.

To conceal his crime, Lindner filed several false campaign disclosure reports.

“Mr. Lindner betrayed the trust of the students and the schools that he was serving,” prosecutor John Chase said. “Jail time reflects the seriousness of stealing from a fund whose purpose was the improvement of education.”

Before imposing sentence, Judge. Arthur Bocanegra noted that Lindner had resigned from the board and will be statutorily barred from running for office for the next four years.

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