California Healthline Daily Edition

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Chiropractic Board Stirs Controversy for Lawmakers, Officials

State officials, lawmakers and attorneys are scrutinizing the conduct of two of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) appointees to the Board of Chiropractic Examiners for controversial actions and regulations, the Sacramento Bee reports. Franco Columbu and Richard Tyler, personal friends of the governor's for four decades, are at the center of the board's recent controversy.

The board last week fired Executive Director Catherine Hayes and named Tyler as interim executive director. Tyler also serves as chair of the board.

Deputy Attorney General Jana Tuton is required by state law to represent the board. However, the board said it wants to replace Tuton with Shawn Steel, a chiropractic attorney and chair of the Republican Party during the 2003 recall election. The board last week asked Tuton to leave a meeting once it went into closed session.

The board last week also approved a resolution supporting a controversial practice that was rejected in 2005 by the Office of Administrative Law, which oversees new state regulations.

Sen. Mark Ridley-Thomas (D-Los Angeles), chair of the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development, said the committee has inquired about the board's recent actions and plans to review a forthcoming report by the attorney general.

Aaron McLear, spokesperson for Schwarzenegger, said that "the board operates in an independent manner." He added, "Everybody [the governor] has appointed to the board is eminently qualified to serve the people of California" (Hill, Sacramento Bee, 3/8).

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