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Hubbard's co-defendant receives sentencing [Corrected]

Karen Anne Christiansen, 53, gets four years, four months in prison and must pay restitution.

January 05, 2012|By Lauren Williams
  • Karen Anne Christiansen
Karen Anne Christiansen

The co-defendant in the criminal case involving the Newport-Mesa Unified superintendent received her sentencing Thursday of four years and four months in prison, and was ordered to pay $2 million in restitution, authorities said.


FOR THE RECORD:
An earlier version incorrectly stated that Newport-Mesa Unified School District Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard is accused of giving an illegal bonus to Nora Roque. He's accused of giving her an illegal pay raise.

Karen Anne Christiansen, 53, was convicted in Los Angeles County Superior Court in November on four counts of conflict-of-interest charges for steering $1.3 million from Beverly Hills Unified contracts toward her company, Strategic Concepts, while simultaneously working as the district's facilities director.

"The sentence the judge gave her shows how seriously this offense is taken," said Deputy District Attorney Max Huntsman. "I wish I could do more to protect public schools, [but] we did the best we could with the tools we have."

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Christiansen was tried separately of her co-defendant, Newport-Mesa Unified Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard, who is charged with three felony counts of misappropriating public funds when he served as Beverly Hills schools chief. He has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors allege Hubbard, 54, gave Christiansen, without school board approval, about $20,000 in bonuses and boosted her car allowance by about $500.

Hubbard is also accused of giving Nora Roque, a former Beverly Hills employee who now works at Newport-Mesa Unified, an illegal pay raise. Roque is not accused of wrongdoing.

Jury selection in Hubbard's case is scheduled to begin Tuesday.

lauren.williams@latimes.com

Twitter: @lawilliams30

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