Hubbard's arraignment scheduled for Tuesday

The Newport-Mesa superintendent is innocent until proven guilty, school board member asserts at meeting.

December 15, 2010|By Tom Ragan,

Editor's note: The arraignment has been moved to Tuesday.

Newport-Mesa Unified School District Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard is to be arraigned Tuesday on two felony counts for his alleged involvement in the criminal misappropriation of public funds during his previous job as superintendent of Beverly Hills schools, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

Hubbard is expected to appear at Beverly Hills Superior Court, where he is to surrender to the L.A. County Sheriff's Department and be placed under arrest, Shiara Davila-Morales, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office, said Wednesday.


Bail for Hubbard has already been set at $50,000.

Salvatore Ciulla, a city of Orange-based attorney who is representing Hubbard, said he's been talking to his client "many times every day," but that it was too early to comment about the case.

Since denying the allegations in an interview with the Pilot last week, Hubbard has not responded to other interview requests. Newport-Mesa Unified officials said he is currently on vacation and won't be returning to his post until after Jan. 1. Newport-Mesa schools will let out for winter recess Friday.

Paul Reed, the district's chief business official, is filling in for Hubbard during the superintendent's absence.

Laura Boss, the district's spokeswoman, said the district's operations as it relates to the education of the children has not suffered in the interim.

Walt Davenport, the newly-named Newport-Mesa school board president, said he's been communicating with Hubbard through e-mail, and that Hubbard is "holding up well, considering the circumstances."

"I have not seen any evidence yet that is strong enough to shake our faith," said Davenport, 75, who's entering his second term with the board.

On Monday, the school board held a closed session to discuss the allegations against Hubbard, but so far the school board has very little information about the case. The board took no action against Hubbard during Monday's meeting behind closed doors.

As of early Wednesday, the board didn't know who Hubbard's attorney was, school board member Dana Black said in an interview.

"We just don't have the facts to make any decisions yet," she said.

At Tuesday night's regular school board meeting, in which four board members were sworn in before a packed chamber, board member Karen Yelsey apologetically pointed out to the crowd that Hubbard was absent.

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