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Christiansen convicted of conflict-of-interest charges

November 21, 2011|From the Los Angeles Times

The co-defendant of embattled Newport-Mesa Unified Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard was found guilty in a Los Angeles courtroom Monday.

Karen Anne Christiansen was convicted of conflict-of-interest charges for taking more than $1.3 million from the Beverly Hills Unified School District through a contract she steered to herself, authorities said.

Christiansen, 53, is the former facilities director for the Beverly Hills school district, where Hubbard served as superintendent prior to his appointment at Newport-Mesa.

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Christiansen encouraged school officials to borrow money for a building campaign while she planned to direct the management contract to herself, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said.

Her company, Strategic Concepts, began drawing more than $200,000 a month until she was terminated, the district attorney's office said in a statement.

Christiansen was being held in lieu of $400,000 bail. She is scheduled for sentencing Jan. 5. at the downtown Foltz Criminal Justice Center.

Hubbard, 54, faces three counts of misappropriation of public funds. He is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 12.

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