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Hubbard trial to begin next month [Corrected]

LOS ANGELES — Newport-Mesa Unified Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard is expected to stand trial Jan. 6 on three felony charges related to his previous job as the schools chief in Beverly Hills, authorities said.

An earlier version incorrectly stated that the charges against Newport-Mesa Unified School District Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard stem from allegations that he gave Nora Roque an illegal bonus. He stands accused of giving her an illegal pay raise.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge set the trial date Monday morning. Hubbard is accused of misappropriating thousands of dollars in public funds. He has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors expect Hubbard’s attorney, Sal Ciulla, to file a motion arguing that the statute of limitations on some or all of the charges has passed. If successful, those arguments could lead to the charges being dismissed.


Charges against Hubbard, 54, stem from allegations that he gave illegal bonuses and an illegal pay raise to two former Beverly Hills Unified School District employees: Karen Anne Christiansen and Nora Roque.

Hubbard’s misconduct allegedly took place between 2005 and 2006.

Prosecutors have said that Hubbard gave bonuses, without the required school board approval, equaling about $20,000 and a raise in car allowance to Christiansen. They also allege that Hubbard gave Roque an illegal pay raise.

Hubbard’s defense counsel argued in preliminary hearings that the payments were in accordance with school district policies at the time.


Christiansen, 53, was convicted Nov. 21 of conflict-of-interest charges that she steered contracts toward her own company and received $1.3 million from the school district. She is set to be sentenced Jan. 5.

Roque, who now works for Newport-Mesa Unified, has not been accused of wrongdoing.

Hubbard was initially charged with two felonies in December 2010. A third charge was added this past October.

Deputy District Attorney Max Huntsman said the D.A.'s office began investigating further potential misappropriations in January. The cases have since been consolidated.

In November, the Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers took a vote of no confidence in its superintendent, namely criticizing the five months of paid administrative leave he took to prepare his defense.

The school board has declined to discuss the teachers union’s vote.

School board President Walt Davenport said the matter was “closed” and has said that he believed the charges against Hubbard, whom he believes is innocent, are “trumped up.”


Twitter: @lawilliams30