SJ School Board Member Charged with Stealing Public School Bond Measure Funds
Photo: John Linder
SANTA CLARA COUNTY– The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office has formally announced charges against 55-year-old John Lindner, a member of the Franklin-McKinley School District Board. Lindner was arrested for using school funds for personal travel, building materials, and other personal expenses. Lindner also used $12,000 for a family member.
Linder is facing multiple charges of grand theft, perjury, and violations of the Political Reform Act for using public funds for personal gain and then failing to file disclosure forms during his reelection campaign.
“Aggravating matters is that nearly all of the money donated in support of the school bond measure came from developers, contractors, and architects,” Deputy District Attorney John Chase said. “While at the same time the defendant, who kept much of this money for his own use, was a member of the school board that makes decisions about how the bond money will ultimately be spent.”
An investigation into Linder’s spending habits determined he had been using district funding. The State Fair Political Practices Commission (“FPPC”) revealed that Lindner was the treasurer for a campaign fund to endorse a 2010 bond measure to help improve aging schools in the east side district. Chase said, “After the measure passed, Lindner used the remaining campaign funds to make personal purchases of lumber and travel. He also withdrew cash and transferred money to his personal bank account.”
However, despite there being no money in the account, Linder continued to file statements of cash assets in the account that had been closed. That is when the empty account drew the attention of the Registrar of Voters, who reported it to the FPPC. It was later determined that Lindner had filed a false report of how the campaign funds had been used and had used the money for his own personal gain.