Deputy superintendent takes district helm

Editor's note: This corrects an earlier version that misquotes school board member Katrina Foley. She didn’t publicly say that Hubbard should be placed on paid leave prior to Monday’s vote.

COSTA MESA — With the superintendent placed on paid leave, Deputy Supt. Paul Reed will take over day-to-day operations of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, school officials announced Tuesday.

Reed, the district's chief business official, filled in for Hubbard during Monday night's regular school board meeting and will run the district for an unspecified amount of time. A veteran educator, Reed joined the N-MUSD in June 2002 after 26 years with the Irvine Unified School District.

School board members on Monday placed Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard on paid administrative leave.

Hubbard, who has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges related to alleged misappropriation of funds in his last job as the Beverly Hills schools chief, had requested that the board put him on paid leave. The board granted the request with Monday's 6-to-1 vote in closed session, according to a news release issued by the district.

"In his official written request to Board President Mr. Walt Davenport, Dr. Hubbard stated his reason for seeking a leave at this time was to act in the best interest of all parties," District spokeswoman Laura Boss said in the news release. "He indicated that he will be dedicating his time and energy to his legal defense."

Reed and Boss could not be reached for additional comment.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled this week that there was enough evidence for Hubbard to stand trial on two felony charges that he enriched a subordinate's contract with board approval there. He will be arraigned next month.

Newport-Mesa Trustee Katrina Foley cast the dissenting vote. When asked Tuesday why she voted against putting Hubbard on paid leave, Foley said she couldn't comment on personnel matters.

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