Monday, January 24, 2011

Hubbard Goes To Trial, Placed On Leave

According to reports in the Orange County Register and the Daily Pilot, late this afternoon Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathryn Solorzano has concluded that there is enough evidence to warrant a criminal trial for Newport Mesa Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Hubbard and his former employee at the Beverly Hills School District, Karen Anne Christiansen.

Hubbard is accused of providing a $20,000 stipend for Christiansen and raising her car allowance from $150 per month to $500, both without school board knowledge or approval. He pleaded not guilty on January 3rd to the two felony counts.


At it's meeting tonight the Trustees of the NMUSD placed Hubbard on paid administrative leave effective today. According to Britney B
arnes in the Daily Pilot this evening, the board voted 6-1 to approve Hubbard's request for leave. Katrina Foley voted no.

This case is far from over, but at least the actions taken today will permit the school district to move forward - and permit Hubbard to focus on his case.

As an aside, I find it extremely curious that the Newport Beach Independent, a relatively new publication that focuses on all issues involving Newport Beach and published by former Daily Pilot publisher, Tom Johnson, has not printed a single word about this situation - not one! Certainly, this is a newsworthy issue in Newport Beach, right? How do we explain that absence of coverage? I don't expect any news source to cover every single story in it's reporting area, but this one is BIG. But, there is only a void - not even a link to other media outlets. Very curious, indeed.

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Anonymous Same said...

Here's how you explain the absence of any Hubbard coverage in the not-so Independent: Johnson has too many pals on the school board. It's the same reason Lobdell is still too soft on the issue. That's what happens when journalists get too close to their subjects.

1/24/2011 10:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Journalism is dead. Long live blogs! said...

Johnson's not going to write about the school board or Hubbard because he has too many pals there. If he does cover it, he won't be very critical. Same with Lobdell, who should be jumping up and down over this but all we've read so far is pap. Even his call for Hubbard to leave was too soft - he wrote he was doing a great job!.

1/24/2011 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

I hope there's a different explanation for the absence of coverage of Hubbard's situation in the Indy than that Tom Johnson is buddies with too many folks on the school board. That would be a sad commentary if true.

1/24/2011 11:01:00 PM  
Anonymous mike m said...

I just saw a copy of the Independent for the first time ... thought it was just for real estate ads with a little (unworthy) news sprinkled in...

1/25/2011 06:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Journalism is dead... said...

You'll have to trust me on this one. But if you need proof, go back and read the Lobdell column calling for Hubbard to be placed on leave. He did everything but apologize for making the request.

1/25/2011 07:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Change said...

Stirrer, the problem is the School Board. Mr. Davenport and another Trustee ran UNOPPOSED in 2010. Things won't change there until people step-up.

1/25/2011 08:08:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

The NB Indy lost me when they decided to cut out anything related to Costa Mesa. Using Sancho as their resident "Green" expert also was a case of bad judgement. Actually, NB and CM are joined at the hip. NB 's rapacious grab for any and all land asssociated with proximity to the ocean has resulted in a lot of encroachment on traditional Goat Hill territory. Back bay off Irvine, The encircled Newport Condos off 19th, Banning Ranch ...etc. etc. Tom Johnson is elitist and irrelevant.

1/25/2011 08:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Honeyman said...

Even CDM Today talked about Hubbard, in between their lost dog notifications.

I'm with Gericault, Ton Johnson has no credibility in my eyes.

1/25/2011 09:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Journalism said...

"Change" has it right. They need to hear from us.

1/25/2011 11:16:00 AM  
Anonymous No oversight said...

Did anyone see what happened to Katrina Foley last night at the school board meeting? She tried to recommend a review of the board's legal expenses because she thinks we're paying too much. And they refused!!!

1/25/2011 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

No Oversight, still waiting for the tape of the meeting to be posted. I'm led to believe there are other issues of interest - like the Hubbard vote - that might be clarified by viewing the tape. Thanks for the heads-up.

1/25/2011 05:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You won't see the Hubbard vote - it was in closed session. Davenport made the announcement at the start of the meeting. Watch Foley's opening comments. She tried to cut legal fees and was rebuffed. She tried to provide more transparency to the agenda process and was shot down. Then she tried to stop the policy of editing negative comments from the minutes (YES, THEY DO THAT!) and she was told in so many words to take a hike. This board is out of control.

1/26/2011 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

OK, before everybody goes nuts, I made an editorial decision to post the above Anonymous comment. As you know, I don't usually do that - I don't think it's too much trouble to select a pen name - or use your own - to post here. I prohibit "Anonymous" because comment threads get too difficult to follow if folks use that lazy moniker. Please just pick a name...

1/26/2011 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Also, I've been told that the board meeting video will be up and available for viewing this morning... I intend to view the relevant parts for clues as to Foley's dissenting vote on the Hubbard contract.

1/26/2011 08:52:00 AM  
Anonymous No oversight said...

Good decision on posting the Anonymous comment. That was mine and I forgot to pick a name. Thanks.

1/26/2011 09:51:00 AM  
Anonymous No oversight said...

You won't see any Hubbard stuff except for the opening announcement. Look for what I posted earlier. Watch the reactions and comments when Foley makes her suggestions. These people have forgotten their marching orders and are out of control.

1/26/2011 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Bruce Krochman said...

One does have to wonder why he is on PAID leave. I can guarantee you that is I asked my boss for time off to handle a "personal" matter it would be on my vacation time or unpaid.

1/26/2011 09:30:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Bruce Krochman, yep, that's an interesting question. Hubbard requested the paid leave. I did speak with Katrina - she won't talk about the closed session. However, after viewing the video of the meeting, and her comments during board member comments specifically, I think you can probably surmise that she may have thought he should have been punished for his violation of the regulations regarding the inappropriate use of the email system.

By the way, it's painful to watch her attempting to deal with the entrenched system - it's like watching a coffee klatch. There's no professionalism on the dais - everyone just talks over everyone else. This is going to be a tough tour for Katrina...

1/26/2011 11:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Terry Shaw said...

Geoff - are you saying Katrina jumped from the frying pan into the fire?

1/27/2011 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Terry, not only did she jump into the fire, but she carried an armload of kindling with her!

1/27/2011 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Terry and others, in case you're wondering how Katrina Foley feels about the Hubbard leave issue, here's what she posted on her Facebook page this morning -

"Ok so... the school board votes to accept the Superintendent's request for paid administrative leave to deal with his criminal matters at a tune of more than $20,000 per month, but the second graders at College Park elementary can't go on any field trips this year. What is wrong with this picture?"

That comment generated 28 others on her page... She's got an excellent point. History tells us that any other district employee who violated the email policy as Hubbard did would have been fired.... double standard, anyone?

1/27/2011 08:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...

Hi Honeyman, more CdM Today readers comment on the lost-found dog stories than they do on Hubbard so go figure. And Geoff, Tom wrote a column about Hubbard.

1/29/2011 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Amy, saw it and found myself thinking, "It's about time!"

1/29/2011 12:40:00 PM  

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