Hearings, Staff Changes Hit State Chiropractic Board
The California Board of Chiropractic Examiners is drawing increased scrutiny from the Legislature after recent allegations about an improper dismissal of the board's executive director, the Sacramento Bee reports (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 3/14).
At a March 1 meeting, the board fired Executive Director Catherine Hayes and named Richard Tyler as interim executive director. Tyler also serves as chair of the board (California Healthline, 3/8).
The move has drawn criticism in part because chiropractic board members adjudicate matters brought before them, while the executive director serves as a sort of prosecutor. By occupying both the executive director and board member roles, Tyler would serve as both judge and prosecutor in cases against chiropractors, the Bee reports.
Moreover, the board might have violated a state open meetings law when it fired Hayes in a closed meeting. State law provides employees subject to discipline to receive written notice 24 hours before the meeting of their right to have a public hearing rather than a closed session. The issue was not on the agenda for the March 1 meeting.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Tuesday forced Tyler to relinquish his simultaneous role as executive director.
The Department of Consumer Affairs assigned Brian Stiger to temporarily manage the board (Yamamura/Hill, Sacramento Bee, 3/13).
Legislative committees have tentatively scheduled a March 28 joint oversight hearing where members of the chiropractic board will testify.
The Assembly Committee on Business and Professions and the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee will question all attendees of the March 1 meeting.
Assembly member Mike Eng (D-Monterey Park), chair of the Assembly committee on Business and Professions, said the Legislature could revoke the board's $3 million budget or remove current board members.
"Every governor appoints friends and cronies to boards and commissions, but Schwarzenegger has put himself in an enormously awkward position by appointing two close pals to a board that directly regulates the industry for which they work," a Modesto Bee editorial states. The appointees have "turned this regulatory board into a laughingstock," according to the editorial (Modesto Bee, 3/13).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.