Dec 15, 2017 | By Sharon Noguchi | mercurynews.com
EXCERPT: ... In a case described as "textbook corruption,"
longtime Franklin-McKinley School District schools trustee John Lindner has been charged with stealing nearly $30,000 in bond campaign funds that prosecutors say he spent on travel and personal expenses.
Lindner, 55, turned himself in to authorities Thursday on felony charges of grand theft and perjury, and misdemeanor violations of the Political Reform Act. He was freed after posting $35,000 bail. ...
The criminal charges piggyback on an investigation earlier this year by the state's Fair Political Practices Commission probing Lindner's management of funds for the "Franklin-McKinley for Our Kids - Yes on Measure J 2010" campaign. In October, he agreed with the commission to pay a $18,500 fine to the state.
The FPPC report found that Lindner, while serving as the campaign's treasurer, used unspent funds to "make personal purchases of lumber and travel" and "withdrew cash and transferred money to his personal bank account," prosecutors said. ...
The five felony and five misdemeanor counts are fairly serious, Chase said. "It's stealing money that people expected to be used to get public support for a school bond measure."
Chase called the case "textbook corruption" and pointed out that Lindner was not just an ordinary community volunteer. Chase noted that Lindner was in a place of public trust with decision-making power over how contracts would be awarded. Most of the funds for the bond campaign came from contractors and others hoping to do business with the district. Voters ultimately approved the $50 million bond measure in November 2010.
According to prosecutors, Lindner "had bled the account almost dry," but "continued to file periodic disclosure forms reporting that the fund had $13,000."
Lindner had declared in a filing that he was terminating the bond campaign committee. He also claimed he distributed remaining funds in amounts less than $100 to "unnamed civic donation recipients," according to the FPPC.
An alert employee in the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voter's office notified the FPPC of that unusual claim. ...
The FPPC reported that Lindner told its investigator that he had placed cash in envelopes and anonymously donated to about 140 schools and nonprofit groups, but he could not name any of the groups. ...
He is scheduled to be arraigned in Santa Clara County Superior Court on Jan. 19. The crimes he's accused of committing are punishable by jail time and fines in excess of $250,000, according to the District Attorney's Office....
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At a special board meeting of the California League of Bond Oversight Committees the board unanimously approved a new Business Plan for the organization.
Key features of the new Business Plan include:
• Creates a new "Membership" tier of the organization. Directors will be elected by the membership.
• Expands board membership from the current maximum of fifteen to thirty-five, which will also expand the pool of resources available. Officers will continue to be elected by the board of directors.
• Formalizes and expands the current catalog of training material, and authorizes the development of a syllabus of high-quality on-line training videos, which will be made available to CBOC's.
• Calls for strengthening the collaboration between CaLBOC and local taxpayer advocacy associations (TPA's). TPA's have the local knowledge necessary to allow them to consult with school districts prior to the passage of Prop 39 bonds, and are the logical source for taxpayer representatives on CBOC's, a requirement of Prop 39.
The Business Plan contemplates that CaLBOC will propose that the state Treasurer fund the development and roll-out of the video training plan. This proposal is in line with the recommendation of the Little Hoover Commission, which reported that the oversight of Prop 39 bonds since its passage is not adequate, and that mandatory training developed by CaLBOC should be required for all Prop 39 CBOC's.
By Lee Barnathan | www.jdsupra.com
School Construction • EXCERPT:
AB 203 – Requires the Department of Education, in establishing standards for school districts to ensure that the design and construction of school facilities are educationally appropriate and promote school safety, to provide for design flexibility by school districts. Requires the Department of Education, Division of the State Architect, and Office of Public School Construction, on or before July 1, 2018, to submit a report to the State Legislature on streamlining their application processes.
AB 618 – Permits school districts to set the monetary threshold by which they are authorized to use job order contracting. Prohibits contractors retained by a school district to assist in the development of job order contract documents from bidding on job order contracts or participating in the preparation of a bid with any job order contractor. Authorizes community college districts to use job order contracting through January 1, 2022.
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• • SAVE THE DATE • •
April 24, 2018
6th Annual CaLBOC Statewide Conference
"Bond Oversight Basics"
Presentation and Handouts:
Little Hoover Commission Report
"Borrowed Money: Opportunities for Stronger Bond Oversight" February 2017
Los Angeles Civil Grand Jury Report:
"Capital Appreciation School Bond Debt: Consequences of Poor Financial Practices" Final Report 2015-2016
May 19, 2015 Conference
Don Mullinax Presentation:
Fraud Awareness: School Construction
The California League of Bond Oversight Committees (CaLBOC) is an all volunteer, non-partisan association of Citizen Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC) members, current and past, who are interested in helping other CBOC members. CaLBOC was formed in 2006 by CBOC members trying to find better training to help perform their duties. CaLBOC is a 501(c)3 charitable organization.