Beverly Hills News
Karen Christiansen Faces Felony Charges
By Shawn Lehman
Dec 19, 2010 - 11:21:16 PM

BEVERLY HILLS—On December 9, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office filed a felony complaint against former Beverly Hills Unified School District superintendent, Jeffrey Hubbard, and former project director, Karen Anne Christiansen. Each face two counts of misappropriation of public funds. Christiansen faces an additional six counts of conflict of interest.

Christiansen, 52, was hired by the school district as a facilities director in 2004 and received an annual salary of $113,000. According to the District Attorney’s press release, in 2006, Christiansen “allegedly secretly negotiated a contract to be an independent contractor while performing her same duties as director, a violation of state conflict of interest codes.”

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Photo by Michael Dalsing

As a result of these alleged violations, the district paid Christiansen $5.2 million between 2006 and 2009. Furthermore, Hubbard, 53, allegedly gave Christiansen unauthorized allowances and stipends.

Prior to the District Attorney’s complaint, Christiansen had filed a lawsuit against the Beverly Hills Unified School District in the amount of $16 million listing charges such as emotional trauma brought on by the charges, injury to her personal reputation as well as that of Strategic Concepts, LLC, a firm in which Christiansen acts as president and CEO. Christiansen had entered into two contracts with the school district in which Strategic Concepts would receive over $16 million of the program’s overall budget.

According to the press release, “Hubbard allegedly gave Christiansen increases in her car allowance that were unauthorized by the board.” The president of the Beverly Hills Unified School District Board of Education said in a public statement, “The Beverly Hills Unified School District and its board are gratified by the decision of L.A. County District Atty. Steve Cooley and his office’s Public Integrity Section, to file felony criminal charges against former BHUSD employee Karen Christiansen and former Supt. Jeffrey Hubbard. The district terminated Ms. Christensen last year for flagrant conflicts.”

Hubbard currently works as superintendent of Newport Mesa Unified School District, and Christiansen now lives in Las Vegas. Arraignment information was not provided as of press time.

 



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