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Ex-Beverly Hills school official convicted

November 21, 2011 |  7:00 pm

A former Beverly Hills School District official was convicted Monday of conflict-of-interest charges for taking more than $1.3 million through a contract she steered to herself, authorities said.

Karen Anne Christiansen, 53, the district's former facilities director, 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.

A co-defendant in the case, Jeffrey Hubbard, 54, faces three counts of misappropriation of public funds.

Hubbard, former superintendent of the Beverly Hills school district, is the superintendent of the Newport Mesa Unified School District. He is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 12.

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— Robert J. Lopez

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Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen Marcus immediately ordered Christiansen remanded into custody and increased her bail to $400,000.

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