Sounding Off: Yelsey: Reserve judgment on Hubbard

January 15, 2011|By Karen Yelsey

Daily Pilot columnist William Lobdell appears to take a somewhat cavalier attitude in his announcement that Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard should be placed on administrative leave ("Lobdell: Hubbard should be placed on leave," Jan. 14). What would this do to enhance the education of the students of Newport-Mesa?

Hubbard has performed and continues to perform his duties as superintendent of Newport-Mesa Unified School District at a high level. While he has this unfortunate situation with his previous district to resolve, and I too hope it is resolved quickly, he has not missed a beat in his goals to move our district in a positive direction.

He continues to visit our schools on his regular schedule, work with principals and staff on district goals and help us deal with extremely difficult budget issues. I know that this week alone, he met with numerous school, PTA and other parent groups receiving a very positive reception at each one. Those who are involved with our schools know the great job he is doing.


Our focus continues to be on providing the best education we can for all of our students. Given the economic climate of our state, the district under Hubbard's leadership, has weathered the financial cutbacks in an admirable fashion. Many districts across the state are envious of our position. I believe that he continues to be proactive in leading us through the new budget reality.

Lobdell mentions that his former school board "is pleased that he is being prosecuted."

Doesn't that statement strike everyone as a bit odd? Has Lobdell checked into the reasons why they might feel this way? Perhaps those board members might be trying to place blame or distort facts for something that really occurred under their watch and approval.

At our Dec. 14 school board meeting, I made comments regarding a man named Ray Donovan. Donovan was secretary of labor in the 1980s under Ronald Reagan and was indicted on fraud charges for something that occurred prior to his public service. After several years of legal battles, Donovan was acquitted of all charges.

The acquittal was remarkable in another respect — Donovan was additionally declared "innocent" of all charges, a very unusual declaration by the court. At that point it was little comfort to Donovan to read the headline in the paper that he had been acquitted.

From that came his famous quote, "Which office do I go to to get my reputation back?"

In the United States of America, we are all innocent until found guilty. I hope Hubbard is not judged unfairly before the truth is known.

KAREN YELSEY is a member of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Education.

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