Compton school board candidate Saul E. Lankster was sentenced Monday to 120 days in County Jail for his conviction last month on three felony charges of selling false driving school diplomas to undercover officers. Superior Court Judge Douglas McKee also gave Lankster a three-year probationary term, plus a $100 fine, and ordered him to begin serving his jail sentence Friday.
The judge could have given Lankster a stiffer penalty of up to four years and four months behind bars, but decided against it because the Compton businessman had no prior criminal convictions, Deputy Dist. Atty. James Wilson said.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles County election officials have said that Lankster's name will remain on the Nov. 5 school board ballot, where he is one of 20 candidates seeking four open seats. But because he is now a felon, it is unclear whether he would be qualified to assume office if he were to win.
Lankster, a former school board member and frequent local political candidate, was arrested in the summer of 1984 by investigators for the state Department of Motor Vehicles. Prosecutors accused him of selling diplomas from his University We-Stand-N-Line-For-U Driving School to traffic violators so they could avoid actually attending the court-ordered safety classes.