Jeffrey Hubbard, Newport-Mesa Schools Chief, Denies Affair, Claims Trustees Approved $20,000 Stipend

Despite the sexy-time chatter--pet names, love pledges and oral-sex references--e-mailed between Newport-Mesa Unified School District's superintendent and a subordinate from his days leading the school system in Beverly Hills, Jeffrey Hubbard maintains he did not have a relationship outside work with the woman.

And he claims school trustees in Beverly Hills approved the $20,000 stipend for his former facilities director Karen Anne Christiansen, who is facing felony charges of misappropriation of public funds alongside Hubbard.

The police booking photos for Karen Ann Christiansen and Jeffrey Hubbard

The Orange County Register's Tony Saavedra first broke the news about the sexed-up correspondence, and Hubbard's latest spin is contained in a court-hearing report by the Daily Pilot's Joseph Serna.

At that preliminary hearing, the defense claimed the "tongue-in-cheek" e-mails have no relevance to the criminal case, but prosecutors allege they establish a close relationship between Hubbard and Christiansen before financial favors were doled out. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathryn Solorzano indicated she will consider the value of the e-mails to the case.

Prosecutors also claimed the Beverly Hills school board did not know about what have been characterized as secret bonuses Hubbard paid to Christiansen, claiming it was listed on a lone district report that trustees would not have seen.

But the defense countered trustees approved the payment, perhaps unknowingly.

As the hearing continued today, it will be up to Solorzano to decide if there is enough evidence to send the case to trial.

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