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Apr 5, 2016 2:25 PM

Answering question from NH1 News, Hassan apologizes for keeping Schubart on 2012 list of campign supporters

NH1 News Political Director

CONCORD – Gov. Maggie Hassan Tuesday apologized for keeping a Phillips Exeter Academy history teacher, who had admitted to sexual misconduct, on her list of supporters during her first run for the Corner Office in 2012.

Hassan named Richard Schubart as a member of her 2012 gubernatorial campaign’s Rockingham County Steering Committee and also received small campaign contributions from Schubart and his wife in 2011. That occurred before the first of two of Schubart’s victims from sexual misconduct incidents decades earlier came forward to academy officials.

After admitting to sexual misconduct, Schubart was required by Hassan’s husband, Tom Hassan, who was principal of Phillips Exeter Academy at the time, to retire and remove himself from campus housing. But the instructor was able to keep his emeritus status with the prestigious boarding academy.

But asked Tuesday by NH1 News why in March of 2012 Schubart was kept on the steering committee list when it was reissued, Hassan said “I did sense that something was wrong when Mr. Schubart abruptly left campus and I should have worked more actively to review my public supporter and steering committee lists and remove him from it and I apologize for that.”

Watch: Hassan apologizes for keeping Schubart on campaign supporter list

Hassan’s comments to NH1 News go further than late last week, when the governor defended keeping Schubart on the list, saying she didn’t have enough details about the case to turn away small contribution.

“We have many many people listed on our supporter list. It is assembled by staff. People sign up for it. Similarly I have thousands of donors and also I didn’t have any specific information I could have shared with staff to indicate taking him off,” Hassan told NH1 News on Saturday.

Asked how her husband handled the controversy in 2011, Hassan said on Tuesday that “I think it is also clear that in balancing privacy and transparency, the school didn’t get it quite right. And both the school and my husband have apologized for that and I think it would be very appropriate for a review of what they did to take place. I sensed something was wrong. My husband and I both strive to keep the confidentiality required by our positions even when we are talking with each other.”

Schubart was eventually barred from campus and lost his title of teacher emeritus in 2015, after the second victim came forward. The academy did not make the Schubert controversy public until questioned recently by The Boston Globe.

The Schubart news comes as Hassan is challenging Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte in what’s one of the most high profile, expensive and negative U.S. Senate battles in the 2016 election cycle.

Hassan’s Senate campaign said they would make a $1,000 donation to HAVEN, a member program of the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

The Hassan campaign said in a statement that the amount donated was “above and beyond the total amount of the gubernatorial campaign contributions from him and his wife.”

The donation to HAVEN was first reported by WMUR political reporter John DiStaso.

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