H.R. officer: Hubbard did not want documentation of ordered pay hike

LOS ANGELES — A former Beverly Hills Unified School District human resources official testified Friday that then-Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard became angry when she put in writing his directive to give another employee a raise without required school board approval.

JudyAnn Allen-Mendez testified in Los Angeles County Superior Court that Hubbard did not follow proper procedure in 2005 when he directed her to give subordinate Nora Roque a $20,000 raise.

"The job description, and the job itself and the pay, needed to be approved by the board first," the former assistant superintendent of HR told the court.

Hubbard, 54, who is now superintendent of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, is charged with three felony counts of misappropriation of public funds for allegedly giving an illegal pay raise to Roque and giving another employee, Karen Anne Christiansen, an unauthorized bonus and car allowance increase.

In all, the illegal payments totaled about $40,000, prosecutors allege.

Allen-Mendez told the court she responded to Hubbard's request by telling him she needed time to write a job description, get a salary schedule and put the action before the board for approval, but Hubbard didn't want to wait.

"We need to do it now," Allen-Mendez remembered Hubbard as saying.

Uneasy about what she was asked to do, she said she sent a written memo to five people, including herself and Hubbard, of what he wanted done.

Hubbard "railed" against her for it, she told the court.

"Shortly after he read his note, he came to my office and closed the door and was upset that I would write everything down," she said.

Hubbard's defense attorney Sal Ciulla questioned Allen-Mendez over whether Roque ever received the pay increase or the title. Allen-Mendez said that she assumed it happened.

Ciulla contended that Roque's paycheck didn't go up $20,000.

"If you do the math, that's $107. Her pay went up $107," he said. "It didn't go up $20,000 did it? It went up $107 a check."

Roque now works for Newport-Mesa Unified. She is not accused of any wrongdoing.

Allen-Mendez also testified to Roque "typing some doctorate stuff for Dr. Hubbard," which she later clarified as his dissertation, and walking into Hubbard's closed office once to find Christiansen just getting to her feet from behind Hubbard's desk.

"It looked to me, and it's just my opinion, as if she was getting up from his lap behind his desk," she said. "I said excuse me and shut the door and walked out."

Ciulla asked Allen-Mendez if she had actually seen Christiansen's buttocks on Hubbard's lap, to which she said no, but denied that she might have been leaning over to see papers from his desk.

"Not in my opinion, not from that angle," she testified.

Emails entered into the case's evidence, some sent from Hubbard's Newport-Mesa account, to Christiansen include sexual innuendo. Hubbard has denied having any romantic relationship with Christiansen.

Christiansen has since been convicted and sentenced to prison on felony conflict-of-interest charges in the case.

The trial will continue Tuesday.


Twitter: @britneyjbarnes

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