Former Beverly Hills Unified School District facilities director Karen Christiansen was ordered Friday to pay an additional $1.5 million to the district in restitution fees, bringing her total restitution to $3.5 million, according to Board of Education President Brian Goldberg.
“Clearly this is a victory for the district and clearly the judge recognized that if it weren’t for her criminal actions the district would not have had to spend the $1.5 million in legal fees that we spent prosecuting her,” Goldberg told Patch.
Christiansen, 53, was sentenced to Jan. 5 after a jury found her guilty of related to charges that she secretly negotiated a deal to be an independent BHUSD contractor while performing her duties as the district's facilities director. She was told at the time that she would likely have to pay $2 million in restitution to BHUSD along with a possible $1.5 million to reimburse the district for legal fees.
Christiansen remains free on $400,000 bail while her case is appealed.
Judge Stephen Marcus ruled that Christiansen was responsible for the BHUSD’s attorney fees related to defending itself from the $16 million civil lawsuit she filed against the BHUSD for firing her after her conflicts of interest were discovered.
“We are going to try to collect this judgment through civil action and any means necessary including liens on property, wage garnishment, etc.,” Goldberg said.
Christiansen's former boss, ex-BHUSD Superintendent Jeffrey Hubbard, now 55, was sentenced Feb. 23 to and three years of felony probation. He was found guilty of illegally authorizing two payments of $10,000 each and a $500 monthly car allowance to Christiansen. Hubbard was also ordered to pay a $6,000 fine and $23,500 in restitution to the district for misappropriating public funds. He served four days in jail out of his sentence.