A state investigation alleged that former USC Keck School of Medicine Dean Carmen Puliafito saw patients just hours after using methamphetamine, according to a report filed by the Medical Board of California.
Kimberly Kirchmeyer, the executive director of the board, reported that Puliafito used methamphetamines, heroin and other illegal drugs, and participated in purchasing and transporting illicit drugs. He also reportedly kept drugs in a secret compartment in his car.
The report, issued last Friday, also stated that Puliafito gave drugs and money to a woman who was then around 20-years-old and she overdosed. At the same time, he provided a 17-year-old boy with alcohol and nitrous oxide, marijuana, methamphetamine and Xanax, according to the report.
In a statement released on Wednesday, USC said the university hasn't received any complaints about Puliafito's patient care.
"Until July of this year no university leader was aware of any illegal or illicit behavior by Carmen Puliafito and to date there have been no issues or complaints related to patient care," USC said in the statement. "Once the university was aware of his illicit behavior, he was immediately removed from his patient care role and he is no longer employed by the university."
USC established a task force and hired the law firm Gibson Dunn to investigate the allegations against Puliafito. They "are reviewing our procedures and will make recommendations going forward," according to the statement.
Puliafito's lawyer did not respond to a request for comment from Annenberg Media.
Kirchmeyer's report is considered as part of the process to revoke Puliafito's medical license. According to an interim suspension order issued by the Medical Board on Sept. 22, Puliafito's physician and surgeon's certificate which was issued to him in 2008 is suspended, and he is immediately prohibited from relating practicing and attempting to practice as a physician and surgeon.
Puliafito was the dean at USC Medical School until March 2016. He is no longer employed by USC. The Los Angeles Times published a story in July revealing Puliafito's "double life" as a distinguished scholar and a substance abuser. According to the newspaper's investigation, during Puliafito's tenure as dean, he took drugs frequently with a group of criminals and drug users. They shot pictures and videos while swallowing pills at parties in hotel rooms, cars, apartments and the dean's office at USC, the Times said.
Three weeks after the overdose incident, Puliafito resigned as dean and sent an email to Los Angeles Times saying he voluntarily left the position to pursue a biotech job.
"Bottom line, I was dean for almost a decade. It was great, but I was ready and open to jumping on these opportunities when they came along," he wrote.