Even With Criminal Charges, Beverly Hills Supe Keeps Pension

State pension officials have confirmed that former Beverly Hills Unified School District Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard is likely to retain his pension, regardless of whether he's convicted or acquitted on charges of misappropriation of public funds, writes Britney Barnes at the Los Angeles Times.

Hubbard could face prison time or probation if he is found guilty on any of the three felonies he faces. He would see the loss of his credentials, but there is currently no stipulation in law that would affect his pension with the California State Teachers' Retirement System, according to a CalSTRS spokesman.

"Hubbard was charged with two felony counts of misappropriation of public funds in late 2010. A third charge was added in October," writes Barnes.

Prosecutors have charged Hubbard with unlawfully giving a $20,000 stipend, without school board approval, to his subordinate, Karen Anne Christiansen, and illegally increasing her car allowance when he was serving as Beverly Hills Unified's superintendent.

Christiansen was found guilty last week and has been sentenced to four years and four months in prison and ordered to pay $2 million in restitution.

Christensen was convicted of steering more than $7.5 million in Beverly Hills contracts to an energy company, Johnson Controls, that had paid her $15,000 on the side for an introduction to Hubbard at Newport-Mesa, writes Tony Saavedra at the Orange County Register.

Deputy District Attorney Max Huntsman said the school district recently negotiated a settlement with Johnson Controls that returns $6 million of the money to the schools, writes Saavedra.

"Christiansen also was convicted of advocating for a $334 million construction bond that resulted in her consulting firm receiving $2.2 million to manage the proceeds."

Christiansen was described as "crazed" in her advocacy by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Stephen A. Marcus.

Christiansen and Hubbard's relationship were investigated in the hearing. The apparent racy e-mails sent between the two officials began when he was in Beverly Hills and heated up after he moved to Newport-Mesa.

Hubbard is currently still in his position, despite being given a vote of no-confidence by the district's teachers. He is on paid leave and has been given time to prepare for trial.

"So far, the Newport school board has supported Hubbard."

A hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 23 to decide whether Christiansen should pay $2 million in restitution to the Beverly Hills district.

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