USC president issues statement to quell uproar about former medical school dean accused of drug abuse

Los Angeles-based USC President C.L. Max Nikias, PhD, issued a letter to members of the campus community July 18 stating the university would "examine and address" allegations former USC Keck School of Medicine Dean Carmen Puliafito, MD, abused drugs and associated with criminals, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The letter referenced a July 17 report by the Los Angeles Times which cited photos and videos allegedly depicting Dr. Puliafito, 66, abusing drugs like ecstasy and associating with criminals in 2015 and 2016 while serving as dean of the medical school.

"Our university categorically condemns the unlawful possession, use or distribution of drugs," Dr. Nikias wrote in the letter. "We are concerned about Dr. Puliafito and his family and hope that, if the article's assertions are true, he receives the help and treatment he may need for a full recovery."

University officials declined to comment on when they first learned of Dr. Puliafito's actions and how they responded, according to the report.

Dr. Puliafito was dean of the Keck School of Medicine from 2007 until his resignation in 2016. He remained a member of the medical school faculty after his resignation.

USC said in a statement July 17 Dr. Puliafito "is currently on leave from his roles at USC, including seeing patients."

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