Released e-mails show school board president's support for Hubbard

President Walt Davenport's e-mails with the superintendent also show he didn't reveal Hubbard's request for leave to the other board members right away.

February 18, 2011|By Joseph Serna,

In the period after criminal charges were filed against Newport-Mesa Unified School District Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard, the president of the school board steadfastly supported him, e-mails obtained by the Daily Pilot show.

"We remain positive and confident of a positive outcome for you," school board President Walt Davenport wrote in a Dec. 16 e-mail to Hubbard. "We just hope it happens quickly. You would have been heartened by the applause when [a district official] relayed your greeting to the folks at the district lunch yesterday. I think the troops are solidly behind you."

The e-mail came a week after Hubbard was charged in Los Angeles County on two felony counts for alleged criminal wrongdoing during his previous job as head of Beverly Hills Unified School District. Prosecutors allege that Hubbard misappropriated Beverly Hills funds to benefit a subordinate when Hubbard served as the schools chief there. Hubbard and Karen Ann Christiansen have pleaded not-guilty.


The e-mails show contrition on Hubbard's part for bringing negative attention to the district, as well support by Davenport, who resisted a request by a colleague, Trustee Katrina Foley, to discuss some of the superintendant's e-mails.

Foley had wanted to convene a meeting as parents and others in the community demanded that Hubbard be placed on leave for the duration of his trial, but the e-mails show that Davenport wanted to wait a little longer because no one else on the school board felt the same way.

A Jan. 15 e-mail to Foley shows Davenport rejecting her request for a closed session to discuss sexually suggestive and flirtatious e-mails that Hubbard had sent to Christiansen. The e-mails, sent from Hubbard's Newport-Mesa account, used double-entendres to refer to oral sex and other acts.

"Katrina: This has already been placed on the closed session agenda for the 24th," Davenport wrote in an e-mail. "To date you are the only member who has asked for a special closed session. If additional board members indicate an interest in a special session I will be open to reconsider [sic] my decision."

At his request the board put Hubbard on paid administrative leave at a Jan. 24 closed session meeting.

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