LOS ANGELES COUNTY: Epidemiologist Demands Reinstatement
"[A] lawyer for Los Angeles County's chief epidemiologist demanded Wednesday that Dr. Peter Kerndt be immediately reinstated, and flatly denied that the physician failed to inform his superiors of his participation in a federal study designed to pave the way for testing potential AIDS vaccines," the Los Angeles Times reports. In a letter to Los Angeles County Health Services Director Mark Finucane, James Cooper III said, "Kerndt is entitled to a public apology from the department's officials so he can clear his 'name, standing in the medical community and reputation.'" The epidemiologist was placed on a 30-day administrative leave last Friday after being charged with improperly committing county resources to the federally financed study without necessary approval from county health officials. Cooper's letter "not only asserts that his client did nothing wrong, but also says the doctor's superiors in the health department knew exactly what he was doing when he won [the] National Institutes of Health Grant in October." According to one of the supporting documents submitted by Cooper, "Kerndt's superiors formally congratulated him for securing the grant" (Meyer, 2/5).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.