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Updated August 21, 2013

Citing sexy e-mail exchanges and backroom deals, a judge on Monday ordered Newport-Mesa schools chief Jeffrey Hubbard and a co-defendant to stand trial on charges they abused public money while working in Beverly Hills.

Late Monday, The Newport-Mesa Unified trustees voted 6-1 to place the embattled Superintendent on paid administrative leave.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Kathryn Solorzanoconcluded there was enough evidence to warrant a criminal trial for Hubbard, 53, and his former facilities director Karen Anne Christiansen, 52. Ending a four-day preliminary hearing, Solorzano cited racy e-mails exchanged by the defendants.

One of Christiansen’s attorney’s, Philip Kaufler, said in a courtroom hallway that his client would be vindicated once there is a full trial. After being held since Dec. 27 on $2 million bail, Christiansen was expected to be released Monday after the judge last week lowered the bail to$200,000.

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