EXETER - Gov. Maggie Hassan said she was unaware a Phillips Exeter Academy teacher named to one of her campaign steering committees in 2012 had previously admitted to sexual misconduct at the prestigious preparatory school while her husband was principal.
Hassan's husband Thomas Hassan was principal of the school in 2011 when it was discovered professor Rich Schubart had engaged in sexual misconduct with two students more than two decades earlie. Schubart was forced to retire and removed from campus.
Four years later, he was stripped of his academic titles and permanently barred from campus. Schubart's misconduct didn't become public until one of his victims spoke to the Boston Globe last week, prompting the school to send out a letter to alumni and parents.
Gov. Hassan said she did not know of Schubart's misconduct when he was named as a member of her Rockingham Steering Committee and donated $375 to her 2012 campaign for governor.
"My husband and I both have jobs in which we are required to keep information confidential,” said Hassan, adding, “just as I don’t share certain information with him, he can’t share certain information with me."
Hassan is currently in a senate race against current U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte. When asked about Hassan's credibility Saturday, she deferred all questions to her opponent.
“I think Gov. Hassan will have to address what she knew about this situation that has obviously come to light at Phillips Exeter,” said Ayotte.
The Association of Boarding Schools censured Hassan's husband for not disclosing the sexual misconduct before Schubart was given a leadership award in 2012. That award has since been withdrawn. Hassan's campaign has donated $1,000 to HAVEN, which provides support services and prevention education to those impacted by domestic and sexual violence.