Governor’s Comments About Chiropractic Board Draw Fire
Comments by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) about the Board of Chiropractic Examiners sparked criticism from consumer advocates who say the governor appeared to be diminishing the board's obligations to consumers, the Sacramento Bee reports (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 3/9).
The board's conduct has come under scrutiny this week from state officials, lawmakers and attorneys. Franco Columbu and Richard Tyler, personal friends of the governor's for four decades, are at the center of the recent controversy.
The board last week fired its executive director and attempted to ignore state law and replace the deputy attorney general with a chiropractic attorney as a representative to the board.
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 (California Healthline, 3/8).
The governor said, "What is important is that the chiropractic board represents the chiropractors. And each board represents their profession."
Adam Mendelsohn, the governor's communications director, said Schwarzenegger did not mean to suggest the board should represent chiropractic interests. He said, "It is the governor's hope that the board appropriately manages the chiropractic industry, consumers, chiropractors and all of those involved."
Julie D'Angelo Fellmeth, administrative director for the Center for Public Interest Law at UC-San Diego, said Schwarzenegger's remark "represents a fundamental misunderstanding of these boards." She added, "This board is supposed to regulate the chiropractic profession in the public interest, not in the interest of the chiropractic profession" (Sacramento Bee, 3/9).