The previous dean of USC’s medical faculty is on depart and is not seeing sufferers after the Los Angeles Occasions reported that he related to criminals and drug customers who stated he abused methamphetamine and different medicine, college officers stated Monday.
Carmen A. Puliafito led the Keck Faculty of Drugs for almost a decade earlier than resigning in 2016. He remained on the Keck school and continued to characterize the college at public occasions.
Puliafito, a famous ophthalmologist, additionally continued to simply accept sufferers at campus eye clinics as lately as this weekend, in accordance with his USC Net web page.
The Occasions revealed its investigation Monday. USC stated in a press release later within the day that it was “following all correct procedures to evaluation his standing in affected person care.” Officers declined to elaborate or remark additional.
As of Monday, Puliafito’s USC Net web page had been modified to take away the road saying he was accepting new sufferers.
Additionally, a tweet despatched Friday by the USC Roski Eye Institute, saying that Puliafito was amongst 5 docs who had been inducted into the Retina Corridor of Fame, was deleted.
Puliafito, sixty six, is a famend eye surgeon whose talent within the working room was matched by his present for attracting expertise and cash to the medical faculty. USC officers employed the Harvard-educated doctor in 2007 to boost the profile and rating of the Keck Faculty.
As dean, he oversaw lots of of medical college students and hundreds of professors and clinicians. He was additionally a key fundraiser for USC, bringing in additional than $1 billion in donations, by his personal estimation.
Puliafito resigned his $1.1-million-a-yr dean’s submit in March 2016, in the midst of the spring time period, saying he needed to discover outdoors alternatives.
He didn’t point out that three weeks earlier, a 21-yr-previous lady had overdosed in his presence in a Pasadena lodge room. The lady was rushed to a hospital, the place she recovered. Police discovered methamphetamine within the lodge room, in response to a police report, however made no arrests.
The incident drew no discover, however a tip about it led The Occasions to research.
The newspaper discovered that in his tenure as dean, Puliafito stored firm with a circle of criminals and drug customers. They captured their exploits in photographs and movies shot in 2015 and 2016.
In a single video, a tuxedo-clad Puliafito shows an orange capsule on his tongue and says into the digital camera, “Thought I’d take an ecstasy earlier than the ball.” Then he swallows the capsule.
In one other, Puliafito makes use of a butane torch to warmth a big glass pipe outfitted for methamphetamine use. He inhales after which unleashes a thick plume of white smoke. Seated subsequent to him on a settee, a younger lady smokes heroin from a bit of heated foil.
The overdose occurred on the Lodge Constance in Pasadena. Simply earlier than 5 p.m. on March four, 2016, a lodge worker referred to as 911 to report that a visitor had suffered an obvious overdose. The lady, Sarah Warren, now 22, informed The Occasions she turned incapacitated whereas utilizing medicine with Puliafito.
Pasadena police didn’t write a report on the incident. After The Occasions made repeated requests for info, the division acknowledged that an officer on the scene ought to have ready a report, and he was belatedly ordered to take action.
Within the report, Puliafito is recognized as a witness to the overdose and as a “good friend” of the sufferer.The remainder of the doc is closely redacted.
No arrests have been made, and Warren informed The Occasions that Pasadena police by no means interviewed her
A Pasadena councilman stated Monday that the Police Division carried out an inner inquiry and decided that the officer dealt with the case inappropriately.
Councilman Victor Gordo stated Police Chief Phillip Sanchez advised him the officer may need prematurely decided the overdose was a “medical incident,” versus a attainable crime scene.
Gordo stated Sanchez assured him the case was finally investigated absolutely and that “applicable actions have been taken in an effort to be sure that this doesn’t happen once more.”
Metropolis authorities spokesman William Boyer stated the officer had been disciplined. He declined to say how.
Sanchez didn’t return a name in search of remark.
Councilman Tyron Hampton stated he needed a written rationalization for why a police report wasn’t promptly ready.
“If that was my daughter or your daughter, you’d need to ensure that the people who find themselves right here to guard and serve you’re doing all they will to guard you,” stated Hampton, a member of the council’s public security committee. “I’ll make certain we’re clear.”
Puliafito didn’t return a telephone name and e mail in search of remark.