Concerns Expressed About Former USC Dean's Mental Stability During Hearing

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Concerns that the former dean of USC's Keck School of Medicine Carmen Puliafito ``could be doing drugs'' were expressed by the school's former vice dean to the university's second-in-command before Puliafito suddenly resigned in 2016, it was revealed in testimony today before a hearing of the Medical Board of California.

Dr. Henri Ford testified he told USC Provost Michael Quick he had suspicions that Puliafito was doing drugs with one young woman on a weekly basis and worried about Puliafito's mental stability, the Los Angeles Times reported.

According to a statement from Quick, it was Ford's information that led him to ask other USC employees about Puliafito and end his tenure as dean, according to The Times.

Quick's statement went on to say that Ford did not share any firsthand knowledge that Puliafito was engaged in drug use and did not recall any conversation with Ford that Puliafito was using drugs. He said he would have acted on such information immediately, reported The Times.

The Times reported in July that during his tenure as dean, Puliafito kept company with a circle of criminals and addicts who said he used drugs with them. The paper also reported that Puliafito was with a prostitute when she overdosed on drugs at a Pasadena hotel room and had to be rushed to a hospital.

The medical board suspended Puliafito's license in September 2017.

Days after The Times report was released, USC President C.L. Max Nikias acknowledged that two receptionists in his office received an anonymous call from a blocked number in March 2016 about an incident in a Pasadena hotel involving Puliafito.

``Neither receptionist found the claims or the caller credible and so the information was not elevated and did not reach a senior administrator,'' Nikias wrote in a letter to the USC community.

``Needless to say, we have already put into place a new system that documents and records all incoming calls to the president's office.''

Nikias announced his resignation late last month in the midst of the scandal involving former campus gynecologist George Tyndall, who is accused of using his position of trust and authority to sexually abuse patients on multiple occasions.

Photo: Getty Images

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