Reports: Hassan Apologizes for Touting Support of Teacher Who Committed Sexual Misconduct

Apology comes as more complaints against teacher roll in

Maggie Hassan
Maggie Hassan / AP
April 5, 2016

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan apologized for touting the support of a teacher who her husband had forced to resign for sexual misconduct, according to reports.

Hassan, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, told reporters that she was sorry for keeping disgraced Phillips Exeter Academy teacher Rick Schubart on her Rockingham County Steering Committee after Schubart admitted to her husband, school principal Tom Hassan, that he had engaged in a sexual relationship with a student.

"I apologize for that," she said on Tuesday, according to NH1 anchor Paul Steinhauser.

Hassan has maintained that she had no knowledge of the sexual misconduct, insisting that her husband did not tell her about the scandal. On Friday, she defended the fact that he appeared on a list of supporters.

"While I sensed something was wrong because of the teacher’s abrupt departure and abrupt retirement, I didn’t know, and I didn’t have information that I could pass on that would have allowed us to remove him," Hassan said told WMUR.

Hassan dodged questions from the Washington Free Beacon about whether her husband kept her in the dark about the scandal. She named Schubart’s wife, Caren, to her Women for Maggie Steering Committee several months after her husband discovered the teacher’s misdeeds.

At the same press conference, she told reporters that she should have taken a more active role in vetting her list of supporters. Her campaign has said that it would donate hundreds of dollars in campaign contributions from the Schubarts to a charity working with victims of sexual abuse.

"I should have been more active in the review of my supporter list," she said, according to WMUR’s Josh McElveen.

Her husband, Tom Hassan, forced Schubart into early retirement in 2011, but allowed him to maintain Emeritus status with the posh boarding school, which costs between $38,000 and $48,000 to attend. Hassan left the school in 2015, the same year that Phillips Exeter barred Schubart from campus following a second complaint from an alum.

Tom Hassan said that the school’s response to the scandal was "inadequate" and apologized for not informing parents, students, or alumni about the allegations when they were first reported. The school sent a notice to alumni after it was contacted by the Boston Globe’s investigative unit in March.

The revelation that two students complained of Schubart’s sexual conduct has fueled further complaints. WMUR reports that four more students have come forward alleging abuse.

Schubart has not answered any phone calls from the Washington Free Beacon.