Teachers union calls for no-confidence vote in Hubbard

The teachers union has called for a vote of no confidence in their embattled superintendent, who is facing criminal charges.

A sampling of the Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers unanimously made the no-confidence vote in Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard on Wednesday, and sent about 1,000 ballots to all its members Thursday for a final tally, said union President Kimberly Claytor.

About 60 union school site representatives and members participated in Wednesday's meeting

"This is a sad day for me personally and a sad day for the Newport-Mesa community," Claytor said.

Claytor met with Hubbard in person Thursday morning to tell him of the vote.

Hubbard called the vote a "disappointment" in an email to district employees Friday.

"As a former Teachers Union President and supporter of collaboration I would have liked to have had the opportunity to meet with NMFT leadership and be a part of the discussion about any concerns and issues," he wrote.

The district provided the Daily Pilot a copy of the email, which would be its only response to the no-confidence vote, district spokeswoman Laura Boss said in an email.

Union members have expressed concern with the issues surrounding Hubbard since last year, Claytor said.

"Truth be told, our office has been getting pretty much nonstop phone calls for months," she said.

The union is expected to tally the ballots for a final vote of no confidence Nov. 3, before presenting the results to the Newport-Mesa Unified school board.

Whatever the results, Claytor said she hopes Hubbard is treated fairly, but added that fair treatment isn't always a pleasant process.

"I think that no matter what, it will speak volumes," she said.

Hubbard wrote that the call for a vote was not unexpected after the union spoke out about issues with its last contract.

"I am, however, deeply proud that over the last few years, despite the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression, we have been able to maintain high levels of compensation … kept class sizes much lower than the county and state average, avoided furlough days, protected the integrity of our instructional programs, and our focus on learning has resulted in greater student achievement," he wrote.

Hubbard, 54, is awaiting trial on three felony charges of misappropriation of funds while at his previous post as head of the Beverly Hills Unified School District.

He was charged with the first two counts last December. The Los Angeles district attorney's office got a grand jury indictment for the third charge this month.

"The multiple felony counts Jeffrey Hubbard is on trial for have been, and will continue to be, a distraction that hinders his job performance," the union's resolution states.

Claytor said the call for the vote stems from the inequitable treatment Hubbard received when the school board allowed him to go on more than five months of paid administrative leave for nondistrict business. Hubbard said at the time that he needed the leave to prepare his criminal defense.

The union has also had issues with the racy messages Hubbard sent using his district email address to his former co-defendant Karen Anne Christiansen, who Hubbard is accused of inappropriately giving about $20,000 and allegedly increasing her monthly car allowance while the two worked for Beverly Hills Unified.

"Our teachers have had a difficult time with some of their students reading the emails published," Claytor said.

The messages included references to oral sex and other acts. Hubbard has said he did not have a relationship with Christiansen outside of work.


Twitter: @BritneyJBarnes

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