By Laurie Lande Email the author January 23, 2012
Former BHUSD Superintendent Hubbard Found Guilty on Two Counts, Acquitted of Third
Jeffrey Hubbard was convicted Monday of ordering two illegal payments to former BHUSD facilities director Karen Christiansen.
A jury found former Beverly Hills Unified School District Superintendent Jeffrey Hubbard guilty Monday of two felony misappropriation of public funds charges, but acquitted him on a third charge.
Hubbard, 54, was convicted of approving $20,000 in stipends and a $500 car allowance raise for former BHUSD facilities director Karen Christiansen without approval from the school board. He was acquitted for allegedly authorizing a pay increase for former district employee Nora Roque without school board consent.
The ex-BHUSD chief faces a maximum of five years in prison at his Feb. 23 sentencing.
Hubbard served as the BHUSD superintendent from 2004 until mid-2006. He left the district to take the superintendent position at the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. Monday’s conviction means that Hubbard will lose his teaching and administrative credentials—and most likely his job at NMUSD.
After the verdict, NMUSD school board President Dave Brooks called for an immediate closed-session meeting to “review the board’s legal options regarding the superintendent’s employment contract and next steps in light of the outcome in the case.”
The Hubbard conviction follows the November conviction of Christiansen, who was sentenced this month to four years and four months in prison. She was found guilty in November of four felony conflict of interest charges for secretly negotiating to be an independent BHUSD contractor while performing her duties for the district. Christiansen was hired by the district in 2004 and reportedly received a total of $5.2 million from BHUSD between 2006 and 2009.
Prosecutors had alleged that Hubbard and Christiansen had a “special relationship” because the two exchanged intimate emails with one another.
The dual convictions represent a victory for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, which aggressively pursued both cases. It also validates efforts by the Beverly Hills Board of Education, which spent more than $2 million in legal fees on the two cases. Christiansen may have to pay the district $2 million in restitution fees pending the result of a Feb. 23 hearing, the same day that Hubbard’s sentencing is scheduled.
“The jury’s decision will ensure that Superintendent Hubbard will not be able to harm or take advantage any other district in the future,” said BHUSD school board President Brian Goldberg, who was elected after Hubbard had left the district. “This is a lesson for those who care about public education of what can happen when those elected to provide oversight turn a blind eye to the corruption that takes place.”
This story was compiled with information from City News Service.
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About this column: The scoop on the Beverly Hills Unified School District.