Fort Bend County deputy recovering after being hit by DWI driver, officials say

 RICHMOND, Texas – A driver is in custody after a deputy-involved crash in Richmond, officials said.

Fort Bend County Deputy Crystal Schooler was out of her vehicle investigating a suspicious person on the 11000 block of Harlem Road near the Grand Parkway at 1:15 a.m. Saturday.

Investigators said a driver hit the deputy’s vehicle, knocking it into her and the person she was questioning.

According to officials, the deputy reportedly has a concussion and a fractured tibia.

Deputies said the person she was speaking to suffered minor injuries.

The driver was arrested for a DWI.

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The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office Monday posted a message from Schooler:

“First and foremost I would like to thank God for watching over me. I’m truly blessed and grateful to be alive.

“I would like to thank everyone for all the text messages, calls and visits. To my FBCSO family, thank you so much for the love and support. I truly appreciate y’all going the extra mile in my time of need. I feel happy knowing that y’all will have my back with whatever may come.

“I would like to thank Sugar Land P.D., Stafford P.D., Missouri City P.D, and Houston P.D. for assisting the FBCSO with providing a police escort all the way to Memorial-Hermann Hospital – The Medical Center due to Life Flight not being available.

I also would like to thank Fort Bend County EMS and Fire for their support and help in my time of need. As well, I would like to thank the nurses and doctors of Memorial-Hermann Hospital – The Medical Center for their treatment and care.

“I also appreciate all of the flowers and cards I have received. To my family and friends, I appreciate the love and support you have given me. I also appreciate the citizens of Fort Bend County and surrounding areas who have been outpouring their support for me in this situation.

“Last but not least, a special thank you to my husband for being by my side this whole time. I hope to have a speedy recovery and get back to work as soon as I can. Much love.”

https://www.click2houston.com/news/fort-bend-county-deputy-hit-injured-by-dwi-driver-officials-say

Cannabis sales must avoid mistakes made by alcohol deregulation

University of Alberta professor Dr. Elaine Hyshka says the Alberta government needs to make sure it sets proper regulations for looming cannabis legalization.

University of Alberta professor Dr. Elaine Hyshka says the Alberta government needs to make sure it sets proper regulations for looming cannabis legalization. (The Canadian Press)

As the province begins developing a framework for legalizing cannabis, a University of Alberta doctor said she hopes Alberta learns from past mistakes with alcohol deregulation.

Dr. Elaine Hyshka said the government has some decisions to make before legalization takes place on July 1.

“I’ll be watching to see how government maintains control over things like price, advertising and marketing, the density of outlets and other factors that really are critical for really trying to encourage moderate use,” Hyshka told CBC’s Radio Active Wednesday.

Hyshka is speaking at the University of Alberta Thursday about what the Cannabis Act means for Canadians. The presentation at 5 p.m. will be livestreamed on their website.

She said Alberta’s cannabis price point can’t be so low people are encouraged to use it, nor can it be so high that users turn to the black market for cheaper prices.

Ontario has proposed a $10 per gram price, which, with the proposed federal tax plan, would cost $11 in Alberta. A mid-level dealer in Calgary told CBC News in October that he typically sells for anywhere between $6 and $8 a gram.

Alberta Finance Minister Joe Ceci has rejected the federal cannabis tax plan and the Alberta government has not set a price yet.

Hyshka said she’ll also be watching how many stores selling cannabis will be allowed in a particular area. She said the amount of liquor stores on every corner, some of which are open until 2 a.m., is a mistake the government shouldn’t repeat.

Elaine Hyshka

Hyshka says restrictions should be placed on marketing and advertising cannabis. (CBC )

“Although cannabis as a substance is less harmful than alcohol, we’d be wanting to see some new restrictions put in place that really set the standard for how we regulate psychoactive substances,” she said.

She also hopes marketing of the product is restricted to prevent influencing a new generation of cannabis users.

“[Hopefully, we] don’t go out of the way to stimulate a new market or stimulate a new demand for what is not a harmless substance,” she said.

Cannabis still ‘liberally available’

Hyshka said that though there are documented benefits of cannabis, such as for those in chronic pain, that doesn’t mean it isn’t harmful — or, in the case of impaired driving, dangerous.

But she said concerns raised recently by the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police about impaired driving, while valid, are not new.

“It’s important to remember that cannabis is liberally available right now through the illegal market and many people are using it and some people are driving while impaired,” she said.

“Enforcing cannabis impaired driving or other sorts of infractions is not new.”

But Hyshka and the police chiefs place importance on a common, primary goal: discouraging those who don’t use cannabis from starting.

“I think that’s a main objective,” she said. “[And] if you are going to engage in cannabis use, how can you do so responsibly in a way that is going to try to, as much as possible, protect your health.”

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/cannabis-marketing-advertising-legalization-1.4415063

The Drunkest City in Every State: Colorado

Source: Thinkstock

6. Colorado
> Drunkest city: Fort Collins, CO
> MSA adults binge or heavy drinking: 21.0% (top 25%)
> State adults binge or heavy drinking: 19.1% (15th highest)
> Alcohol related driving deaths: 30.6%

Home to Colorado State University, Fort Collins is a midsize college city located along the Cache La Poudre River in Colorado’s Front Range. College students drink more than nearly any other group. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, nearly 3 in 5 U.S. college students aged 18 to 22 drink alcohol. In the Fort Collins metro area, some 11.6% of the population are enrolled in college or graduate school — nearly the largest share in Colorado — and 21.0% of adults drink to excess or binge drink, the largest share in the state.

The Drunkest City in Every State

Man in Care Bear costume charged with DWI on moped

Keith Hurley
Keith Hurley 

A Morganton man dressed in a Care Bear onesie was charged with driving while impaired Saturday after an officer spotted him driving his moped without its lights on, according to an arrest report.

Officer E.W. Connor with the Morganton Department of Public Safety was driving on West Union Street around 4 a.m. when he noticed the moped, driven by Keith William Hurley, 39, coming toward him in the opposite lane, the report said.

Connor noticed Hurley was wearing a black helmet and a light blue fleece onesie, “which was later determined to be a care bear costume,” the report said.

Hurley turned into the First Baptist Church parking lot on West Union Street after Connor turned around to stop him, the report said.

When Connor pulled into the parking lot and drove toward Hurley, he noticed him digging underneath the moped’s seat, the report said.

Connor asked why Hurley did not have his lights on, and he replied that he had a short, the report said. Hurley said he had a DOT-approved flashlight he was attaching to the front of his moped.

Connor noticed the onesie Hurley was wearing was a Grumpy Bear Care Bear costume, the report said. The costume was unzipped almost to his waist, and Hurley had glitter on his face and chest, the report said.

Hurley told Connor that he was coming from work at a downtown eatery, where he is a manager, the report said. Hurley told the officer his work was having a Halloween event, and that’s why he was dressed like a Care Bear.

Connor noticed alcohol on Hurley’s breath and that his eyes were red and glossy, the report said. Hurley said he had a couple of beers at a downtown bar and had been sitting at the bar to sober up, the report said.

Hurley also told Connor he thought he was sober enough to leave the bar and that he knew the lights didn’t work, the report said. He thought it was fine because he was “only a few blocks from home,” the report said. Google Maps, however, lists his home as being 3 miles away from the bar, the report said.

Hurley attempted field sobriety tests, but “performed poorly,” the report said.

Connor charged Hurley with driving while impaired, the report said.

“Was there something wrong with my driving,” Hurley asked, according to the report. “You saw I was driving fine.”

While at a local jail, Hurley refused to take a breath test, the report said. Hurley said that because his license already was suspended, he did not see a reason to consent to the test, the report said.

A search warrant was granted to Connor to get a sample of Hurley’s blood, the report said. Hurley said he would not consent to the blood draw either and that officers would have to “strap him down,” the report said.

“It is my body, and you have no right to take blood from me,” Hurley said, according to the report.

Officers explained that they had the right to take his blood because of the warrant, the report said.

“I’m not consenting to a sample, but I will not fight,” Hurley said, according to the report.

Connor transported Hurley to the magistrate’s office, where he was given a $1,000 bond, the report said. He was then placed in a local jail, the report said.

http://www.morganton.com/news/man-in-care-bear-costume-charged-with-dwi-on-moped/article_1b380eaa-bdac-11e7-8063-fb27c95c07e9.html

Man arrested, alleged to have had over 1 lb. of marijuana, DUID

A Fort Collins, Colorado man is facing charges of felony Possession of a Controlled Substance- Marijuana in Natrona County, after Troopers say they found over a pound of marijuana in his vehicle.According to court paperwork 33-year-old Ira Whitney was taken into custody, during the late night hours of November 16th.

Highway Patrol Troopers say that Whitney was observed driving a black Pontiac G6, on I-25, near milepost 184. Reports say that the Pontiac was observed going 90 mph, in a posted 80 mph zone.

Troopers say that they further observed the Pontiac fail to maintain it’s lane of travel while driving.

A stop was initiated and an arrest affidavit says that when the Pontiac pulled over it struck the curb, and the driver stopped the car with the vehicle’s front passenger tire parked on the curb.

Troopers contacted Whitney and note that they could smell an odor of marijuana and alcohol about the suspect’s person. Troopers also report seeing a black canister labeled “THC,” and a multi-colored glass pipe with suspected marijuana in the bowl. The affidavit says that both the canister and the pipe were in plain view on the passenger seat.

When questioned, Troopers say that Whitney admitted to having a gram of marijuana in the vehicle, and saying that his last drink had been a rum and cola, at a bar in Fort Collins, two hours before the stop. Whitney further advised that he worked at the bar.

Whitney was taken into custody, and a subsequent search of the vehicle yielded an open Bud Light bottle that was described as “cool to the touch,” found in between the passenger seat and center console. Further, Troopers report finding a six pack of Bud Light in the car, with two of the bottles removed.

In the trunk of the vehicle Troopers discovered approximately 1.2 pounds of suspected marijuana, divided up between four separately packaged vacuum sealed bags.

After a field sobriety test, Whitney was placed under arrest just after midnight.

During his initial appearance in Natrona County Circuit Court, Whitney was charged with Felony Possession of Marijuana and Driving While Under the Influence. Whitney’s bond was set at $10,000 cash or surety.

All of those cited or arrested are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law. Charges are subject to change following official filings from the Natrona County District Attorney’s Office.

https://oilcitywyo.com/

Medical-marijuana doctor arrested

Medical-marijuana doctor arrested
Dr. Richard J. D’Amico

PLATTSBURGH — The only physician in Clinton County authorized to prescribe medical marijuana has been charged with driving while under the influence of drugs.

Dr. Richard D’Amico, 48, of Plattsburgh was arrested Friday, Nov. 10, and charged with driving while his ability was impaired by drugs, a misdemeanor, after a traffic stop on the downtown stretch of Margaret Street.

Plattsburgh City Police Lt. Bradley Kiroy said a plainclothes police officer reported to Plattsburgh City Police that he saw D’Amico park his car and get out and that he was visibly intoxicated.

When officers arrived around 9:54 p.m., D’Amico was pulling out of the parking space and heading north on Margaret Street.

They saw him swerve from his lane without using his turn signal, Kiroy said.

Police pulled D’Amico over and had a blood test performed.

“The results of the test have not been returned,” Kiroy said.

Besides the DWAI charge, D’Amico was ticketed for failure to keep right on a two-lane road and failure to use his turning signal.

He was held and then arraigned the next morning in Plattsburgh City Court before Judge Mark Rogers, then released on his own recognizance.

D’Amico could not be reached for comment Friday. His lawyer, Patrick McFarlin, said his client had no comment on the arrest.

D’Amico is due back in court on Thursday, Dec. 21.

http://www.pressrepublican.com/news/local_news/medical-marijuana-doctor-arrested/article_826ecbba-3e59-5f3c-8274-05a46832984d.html

Fire official charged with drunk driving

Police tape

WELLSBORO – Wellsboro Fire Department First Assistant Fire Chief Robert S. McCarthy, 53, of Wellsboro faces charges of driving under the influence of intoxicants and careless driving after he allegedly cut the corner on the way to a dispatch Oct. 27 and ran onto the sidewalk, nearly hitting several people.

According to documents filed at District Judge James Edgcomb’s office in Elkland, McCarthy was driving a Freightliner fire truck too fast around the corner of East Avenue and Main Street about 10:30 p.m., causing adults standing in front of the Wellsboro Diner to pull children back out of the way and jump out of the way themselves to avoid being hit.

McCarthy will appear before Edgcomb in District Judge Rob Repard’s courtroom Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 1:30 p.m.

Illinois Supreme Court Weighing Seizure Of Woman’s Harley

Petra Henderson was the designated driver on a bar crawl with her husband. But after the last stop of the night, she says he jumped on her Harley and offered a choice: get on the back or walk home.

An argument ensued, but Henderson eventually got on board. It was only 12 blocks to their home in Robinson, but police saw the motorcycle swerving, and the husband was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

The government says Henderson consented to letting her husband drive drunk — and on a suspended license — so it moved to seize the Harley.

A trial judge approved the seizure, saying he didn’t believe the Hendersons’ story, but that was reversed on appeal.

Arguing for the government Wednesday was Assistant Attorney General Jason Krigel. He told the Illinois Supreme Court that the state has an interest in preventing alcohol-impaired driving, and only allows forfeiture in a narrow range of cases.

“It doesn’t apply to every DUI. It doesn’t even apply to every aggravated DUI,” Krigel said. “The General Assembly has identified particular crimes that warrant this additional deterrence and punishment. For instance in this case, claimant’s husband was intoxicated; he also had to be driving on a revoked license and it had to have been revoked because of a previous DUI conviction.”

Krigel also says Henderson is culpable for her husband’s crime because she consented to let him drive home. That drew a skeptical inquiry from Justice Anne Burke: “In real life, what is she supposed to do? Drag him off the motorcycle? So what kind of consent is that?”

Krigel says the trial judge didn’t believe that story.

For her part, Henderson says she paid $35,000 for the motorcycle in 2010, and was still paying it off when it was seized in 2014. She argues that taking it is an “excessive fine,” prohibited by the U.S. Constitution.

“I would submit, your honor, the thing that Petra did wrong that night was exercise bad judgment,” her lawyer, James Campion, told the justices. “The facts show that she was arguing with her husband in the parking lot at 12:30 at night — of the bar — as to whether he should drive or not. Knowing that the trip was only going to be three to five minutes, she then made the decision to allow him to drive while he was intoxicated.

“For this act of hers, this bad judgment, the state feels that the taking of her valuable motorcycle … was justified,” Campion said. “We would submit that under the facts of this case, the forfeiture Petra Henderson’s motorcycle was an excessive fine, and in fact was in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

http://peoriapublicradio.org/post/illinois-supreme-court-weighing-seizure-womans-harley#stream/0

ICE arrests dozens during sweep targeting convicted DUI offenders

LONG ISLAND, New York (WABC) — More than two dozen people were arrested by immigration officials on Long Island last week as part of a crackdown on drivers convicted of driving under the influence.U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced the arrests of 25 people during a six-day sweep, dubbed Operation Secure Streets.All but one of the people arrested have been convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, ICE officials said.Those in custody are being detained pending removal proceedings. They are nationals from Brazil, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Ukraine.Among those arrested were:* A 41-year-old, previously removed Guatemalan man convicted of driving while intoxicated. He was arrested in Patchogue on Nov. 4 and will remain in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.* A 40-year-old, previously removed Brazilian man convicted of driving while intoxicated.. He was arrested in Ronkonkoma, Nov. 5 and will remain in ICE custody pending removal to Brazil.* A 31-year-old citizen of Guatemala with a prior convictions of criminal trespass in the 2nd degree and driving while ability impaired. He was arrested in Riverhead, Nov. 6 and will remain in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.* A 35-year-old previously removed Honduran man with prior conviction of assault in the 3rd degree. He was arrested in Hempstead on Nov. 7 and will remain in ICE custody pending removal to Honduras.* A 40-year-old Salvadoran national with a prior conviction of driving while intoxicated, identified as a MS-13 gang member. He was arrested in Shirley, Nov.7 and will remain in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.”This operation targeted those who were convicted of driving under the influence, some with children in the car, solidifying ICE’s commitment to remove public safety threats from our communities,” New York field office director Thomas Decker said.Here is a list of communities where the arrests were made: In Nassau County: Glen Cove, Hempstead; and in Suffolk County: Amityville, Bayshore, Calverton, Central Islip, Commack, Coram, Hampton Bays, Huntington, Medford, Moriches, Patchogue, Port Jefferson, Ronkonkoma, Riverhead, Sag Harbor, Shirley, West Babylon, and Wheatley Heights.Those arrested who returned to the U.S. illegally after being previously removed will be immediately deported. The rest will have a hearing before an immigration judge.

Source: ICE arrests dozens during sweep targeting convicted DUI offenders on Long Island | abc7ny.com

USC had many warnings about medical school dean’s behavior but took little action

For years, the troubling reports circulated among the faculty of USC‘s Keck School of Medicine: Their dean had a drinking problem.

One colleague told of witnessing a boozy Dr. Carmen Puliafito reeling and shouting at a university dinner. Another said Puliafito appeared drunk at an off-campus gathering as he spilled into his car and drove away.

Then there was a Keck medical conference, a researcher who attended recalled, in which the dean seemed inebriated when he fell asleep in his chair.

Complaints of Puliafito’s drinking began to reach USC administrators more than five years ago. Then in 2016, and again last March, the university received information that Puliafito was in a hotel room with a young woman who suffered a drug overdose.

But USC allowed Puliafito to remain at the Keck school, where the renowned eye surgeon continued to treat patients. The university did not report him to the California Medical Board during that period, a USC source confirmed. The board routinely suspends physicians from patient care if they are suspected of being impaired by alcohol or drugs.

The medical profession’s principles of care state that supervisors and others in hospitals and clinics have a responsibility to act promptly to remove from practice doctors showing any signs of alcohol or drug abuse. That did not happen with Puliafito.

The university did not suspend Puliafito’s medical privileges until after publication of a Times investigation in July that detailed his second life as an associate of abusers and dealers of hard drugs with whom he regularly used methamphetamine and other drugs. The newspaper’s investigation triggered a medical board inquiry that resulted in formal allegations last month that Puliafito, for 21 months, smoked meth “within hours” of seeing patients and abused that drug on a near-daily basis at the Keck campus and elsewhere.

Dr. Nancy Jecker, a professor in the University of Washington School of Medicine’s Department of Bioethics and Humanities, said the complaints of excessive drinking “were a sufficient basis to suspend Dr. Puliafito from practice while these reports were competently investigated.”

“The ethical choice could not be clearer: serve the interests of the institution or the welfare of vulnerable patients,” she said.

USC has not provided a full account of how it handled the various allegations about Puliafito. University President C.L. Max Nikias said in a letter to the USC community this summer that the school referred Puliafito to Keck’s Hospital Medical Staff — a peer review panel — last March, after The Times inquired about the former dean’s presence at the drug overdose at a Pasadena hotel. The panel found “no existing patient care complaints and no known clinical issues” with Puliafito, Nikias wrote.

The school did not review his clinical privileges when he stepped down last year because there was no evidence of “illegal or illicit activities,” Nikias said in the letter.

Even some within the medical school leadership question why more wasn’t done.

Two days after The Times story ran, scores of medical school students packed a campus forum to get answers from Dr. Rohit Varma, who succeeded Puliafito as dean of the Keck school. Varma said USC administrators knew nothing of Puliafito’s use of drugs until The Times published its investigation. But Varma acknowledged that the school was aware of Puliafito’s problems with alcohol.

“It raises an issue of why more wasn’t done at that time,” Varma told the students, adding that he personally had seen Puliafito “in that alcohol abuse haze,” but not when he was treating patients.

Varma told the students that Puliafito had sought and received treatment for alcohol abuse.

In a recent statement, USC said Varma “regrettably misspoke” when he related that Puliafito had received treatment. “He intended to say Puliafito had been counseled on his professional behavior,” the statement said. “We have no record of Puliafito receiving treatment for alcohol issues.”

Experts said any USC leaders who knew about Puliafio’s drinking had a duty to intervene, regardless of whether he was in treatment for alcoholism.

Varma and other USC administrators, including Nikias, declined to be interviewed for this story. A university spokesman said in a statement that “there have been no documented patient complaints, malpractice reports or other issues with patient care related to Carmen Puliafito.”

Varma stepped down as dean last month as The Times prepared to report that the university had concluded in 2003 that he had sexually harassed and then retaliated against a female fellow he supervised.

The medical board has suspended Puliafito’s license to practice pending the panel’s decision on the findings of its investigation. If the board decides to punish Puliafito, it could revoke his license or reactivate it with certain restrictions, such as a requirement that he undergo drug and alcohol testing. The inquiry has been conducted by the investigation division of the state Consumer Affairs Department, which has the option of referring its findings to local prosecutors for criminal charges.

The state agency responsible for regulating hospitals, the California Department of Public Health, said it is not investigating Keck. The department said in an email that it “has not received any complaints or facility reported incidents involving Dr. Puliafito.”

The American Medical Assn. and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education advise physicians and their supervisors to promptly remove from practice doctors who could be impaired by alcohol or drug abuse.

The council accredits Keck Hospital and other institutions as sites where medical residents can train. Puliafito headed the medical school from 2007 until last year and remained in practice until July.

A publication of the accreditation council states that “impaired physicians must be recognized and removed from patient care activities. Residents and faculty are human and on rare occasion are found to be impaired. … It is the responsibility of anyone in the health care system observing impaired behavior to report it to a supervisor or other individual who can intervene.”

State regulators have taken disciplinary action against doctors for intoxication not just at work but off-hours as well, including when they receive drunk-driving citations. A state 2nd District Court of Appeal ruling in 2002 stated that doctors could face discipline by the medical board even if there was no finding that they harmed patients.

From August 2016 to last April, drinking was cited as either the sole reason for or a contributing factor in the revocation, suspension or restriction of the licenses of more than 40 doctors by the medical board. Most of the sanctions stemmed from convictions for driving under the influence; others resulted from observations of suspected intoxication.

For example, a Sacramento-area doctor in 2013 was seen with a vodka bottle at work and was visibly intoxicated while attending a meeting with the chief executive of the telemedicine company that employed him, according to medical board records. The executive reported him to the board.

After an investigation, the board required the doctor to submit to random drug and alcohol testing, and be overseen by a monitor, the documents show.

In 2015, a Concord physician crashed his car into a parked vehicle and was taken to a hospital and underwent treatment for alcohol withdrawal, medical board records said. The board ordered him to submit to regular alcohol and drug testing as a condition of keeping his license.

Last year, a manager at Folsom medical clinic required a doctor to take a Breathalyzer test after colleagues expressed their suspicions he had been drinking, according to records. The medical board subsequently suspended his license for 60 days, placed him on seven years of probation and imposed other restrictions, including a requirement that he undergo psychotherapy, the documents said.

The AMA’s guidelines for bylaws that govern hospital medical staffs state that a doctor can be required to undergo testing for alcohol or drugs even if the measure is based merely on witness accounts of suspected intoxication and there have been no reports of harm to patients.

USC’s former human resources director, James Lynch, told The Times that an unnamed Keck staffer made multiple complaints about Puliafito’s drinking, including suspicions from more than five years ago that he was driving drunk. Lynch recalled doing nothing with those complaints and telling the staffer to instead confront the dean. It is not known if the staffer did confront Puliafito.

Current and former Keck staffers said in Times interviews that they saw Puliafito drink to excess on several occasions, including at the conference in March 2016, other university events and on campus late into the evening.

The Times began investigating Puliafito after receiving a tip about the March 2016 drug overdose of Sarah Warren, then 21, in a room he rented at the Hotel Constance. The incident brought paramedics and police officers to the hotel, although no arrests were made.

The overdose occurred three weeks before Puliafito abruptly resigned as dean.

In his letter to the university community after The Times story appeared, Nikias said the resignation followed a confrontation between USC Provost Michael Quick and Puliafito over complaints about his performance as dean and his behavior. Nikias provided no details.

The July 28 letter said USC received “various complaints” about Puliafito over the years and provided a timeline that included references to Puliafito receiving unspecified discipline and “professional development coaching.” It makes only one reference to any scrutiny of his competency to practice medicine — the review last March prompted by The Times’ inquiry about the overdose.

A USC spokesman said the review by the Hospital Medical Staff “found that there were no concerns about his clinical competency.”

About a year ago, an unnamed member of the USC communications staff received a tip about Puliafito’s involvement in “a Pasadena hotel incident,” according to Nikias’ letter. In response, administrators questioned Puliafito, and he said a friend’s daughter had overdosed at the hotel and he accompanied her to the hospital, the letter stated.

Nikias provided no other details, including the source of the tip, and gave no indication that USC contacted Pasadena authorities or investigated further.

“USC should have done more to determine what exactly happened in the hotel room once it received reports of Dr. Puliafito’s presence and the overdose,” said Jecker, the University of Washington professor. “A careful investigation into these matters was warranted.”

USC fired Puliafito and formed an internal task force to examine how the university handled the complaints about him. The school said it has improved communications in Nikias’ office, which received an anonymous phone call in March 2016 from a person who reported Puliafito’s involvement in the overdose 10 days before his resignation as dean.

Nikias’ letter said two receptionists took the six-minute call, but the information was never passed to senior administrators because they didn’t find the caller “credible.”

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-usc-dean-20171114-story,amp.html