New evidence in an investigation of Dr. Carmen Puliafito has USC quickly separating itself from the former Keck School of Medicine dean. Per the Los Angeles Times, the school has begun the process of firing Puliafito—which involves removing his faculty tenure—and has barred him from campus. Puliafito was the subject of an extensive Times piece published Monday that reported on his “other life” outside his prestigious professional and publishing record, which involves nefarious activities alongside a "circle of criminals and drug users." President C.L. Max Nikias had harsh words for the former dean in a letter to the campus community, where he wrote: “We are outraged and disgusted by this individual’s behavior.” The university has not disclosed what new information has turned up regarding Puliafito or confirmed whether it coincides with the Times report.
Provost Michael W. Quick wrote in a separate letter to faculty that the investigation turned up “egregious behavior on the part of the former dean concerning substance abuse activities with people who aren’t affiliated with USC.” Puliafito resigned from his $1.1-million-a-year position in March 2016, citing his desire to seek outside opportunities after nearly a decade in his post. Three weeks prior to his resignation, he was present in the hotel room where a 21-year-old woman overdosed. Nikias has not said whether the investigation’s findings will be made public, but has asserted that the university must cooperate “fully and swiftly.” (Read more USC stories.)