Police union reviewing hotel incident involving officer, former USC Keck medical school dean following accusations: 8 things to know


The Pasadena (Calif.) Police Officer's Union said July 20 it is conducting a legal review of circumstances surrounding a March 2016 overdose incident allegedly witnessed by Carmen Puliafito, MD, former dean of Los Angeles-based USC Keck School of Medicine, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Here are eight things to know about the case.

1. Police, including Officer Alfonso Garcia, reportedly responded to a call involving an overdose incident at the Hotel Constance in Pasadena March 4, 2016.

2. In an interview with the Times, Sarah Warren, the individual who overdosed, said she "took too much GHB" — a drug commonly used in instances of date-rape that reportedly provides a euphoric effect in smaller doses. Ms. Warren, now 22, said the drug left her "completely incapacitated." She claimed she woke up in the hospital six hours after the overdose and was subsequently picked up by Dr. Puliafito, now 66. After picking her up, Ms. Warren said the two "went back to the hotel and got another room and continued the party," according to the report.

3. After responding to the overdose call, police allegedly confiscated "little more than a gram of meth" in the hotel room. No arrests were made and Ms. Warren said police never interviewed her about the incident.

4. Mr. Garcia allegedly did not file a required report on the incident until three months after it occurred, the report states. A police spokesperson said last year Mr. Garcia's failure to file a report constituted a "training issue." A spokesperson for Pasadena told the publication July 20 Mr. Garcia was disciplined for the action, but did not specify what his discipline was.

5. A witness who spoke to the Times on a condition of anonymity said they filed a complaint with the city about three weeks after the hotel incident, asking city officials to investigate Dr. Puliafito and the police's handling of the investigation, according to a copy of the complaint obtained by the Times. The witness called USC President C.L. Max Nikias, PhD, and told two university employees about Dr. Puliafito's alleged role in the incident.

6. Dr. Puliafito's alleged involvement in the incident and association with drug misusers and criminals surfaced after the Times published a report July 17. The same day, USC officials said Dr. Puliafito was no longer seeing patients and was on leave from his faculty position at the university.

7. USC Keck School of Medicine Dean Rohit Varma, MD, spoke to students about the accusations Wednesday, stating Dr. Puliafito's conduct "is the subject of several internal investigations," according to the report.

8. The Medical Board of California also said it is investigating the allegations against Dr. Puliafito.

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