Los Angeles County Supervisors Release Report on Investigation of Office of AIDS Programs and Policy
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday released the results of an investigation into alleged conflicts of interest in the county Office of AIDS Programs and Policy, but some AIDS advocates criticized the report as "vague and inconclusive," the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports (Rester, Long Beach Press-Telegram, 12/10). Supervisors requested the investigation in March over concerns that OAPP Director Chuck Henry, who also heads the office's 50-member HIV Commission and determines the distribution of $80 million in county funds and state and federal grants, had a conflict of interest (California Healthline, 7/2). The report cites "conflict-of-interest statutes and requirements for counties to receive federal HIV/AIDS funds" but does not address whether the commission violated the statutes or requirements, the Press-Telegram reports. According to the report, "By both federal law and county ordinance, members are prohibited from being involved in the selection of specific funding. As a result, the members should not be confronted with participating in those decisions." Ressie Roman, health deputy for Supervisor Michael Antonovich, said that the investigation did not find conflict-of-interest violations. Ged Kenslea, a spokesperson for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said, "I'm surprised it took so many calls to get this released. It doesn't seem like this is a report they really need to sit on." However, Miki Jackson, another spokesperson for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said, "If you read it closely, it shows there are conflicts" with Henry and his assistant Gunther Freehill in votes to determine which HIV/AIDS agencies receive funds (Long Beach Press-Telegram, 12/10).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.