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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, joseph.serna@latimes.com

"As much as I don't want to acknowledge it — it's obvious that these issues have become a clear distraction for the District," Hubbard wrote to Davenport on Jan. 23. "I have always believed that the needs of the district far outweigh my own personal needs. After many hours of reflection in trying to determine the best course of action for our students and staff, I have come to the conclusion that I should ask to be placed on voluntary paid administrative leave."

According to the e-mails, Davenport chose not to tell the rest of the school board about Hubbard's request until the meeting the next day because he did not want Foley to learn of it ahead of time and feared that the information would become public.

"It saddens me that we have to consider this but I will be supporting approval of your request," Davenport wrote back to Hubbard. "I am not forwarding it to other board members because I would have to include Katrina or face a charge of [education] code violation. I'm holding back so it doesn't end up on Facebook or at the Pilot before we even get to take action on it. I have printed copies which I will distribute at the start of the closed session."

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In an interview Thursday, Foley denied that she would have gone public with Hubbard's request before the meeting.

"I would have never put something like that on Facebook," said Foley, who is an attorney. "That's a private, personnel matter. I know the difference. I process employment law for a living."

Davenport told the Pilot on Thursday that he was being cautious because district officials had seen Foley post district business on her Facebook page and supply information to the Pilot.

Davenport, though, wasn't alone in expressing reservations about the newest school board member, who was elected to the board in November.

"She's technologically advanced. To see everything we do or say posted on her Facebook page causes some of us a little angst," said Trustee Martha Fluor. "In terms of, what's the motive? We haven't really had an opportunity as a team to sit down and really get to know each other."

Foley, a former Costa Mesa councilwoman, called for greater transparency from the school board when she campaigned. Like many elected officials, she has long used Facebook to communicate with constituents.

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