People enter the University of Southern California Engemann Student Health Center in Los Angeles, May 22, 2018.
The lawyer of a former medical dean at the University of Southern California, argued Wednesday that his client should be allowed to continue with the practice of medicine, despite the recognition that he used hard drugs during his tenure at USC.
Attorney Peter Osinoff the case on behalf of Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito during a state medical board that heard, followed Puliafito March 2016 dismissal from the university-one of a number of high-profile departures from the school in the past few years.
Osinoff argued that while the 67-year-old Puliafito has a brilliant mind, that he also suffers from a mental illness, that caused a “dark side” that led to his relationship with a prostitute, the Los Angeles Times reported.
He noted that Puliafito was more addicted to his involvement with the young woman, who in a previous report by the Times when Sarah Warren, narcotics and claimed that Warren was the one who introduced the doctor, “street drugs.”
Osinoff argued that his client for the restore of a few months and has since gotten a grasp on his bipolar disorder, according to the paper.
Puliafito resignation of the dean of USC the Keck School of Medicine in the three weeks after the Warren, 21, to an overdose in an eco-friendly hotel in his company, according to an extensive research by the time.
Former USC medical school dean, used hard drugs, while working at the university, says lawyer https://t.co/H6QMruotwX pic.twitter.com/qoWexUXOJZ
— The Los Angeles Times (@latimes) 31-May-2018
The doctor continued to represent the school and patients at the university until the paper with the publication of its research last year showed that Puliafito lived a secret life of drink, drugs and partying with drug addicts and prostitutes.
The report, which prompted the medical board to suspend Puliafito license, turned out to be only the beginning of a series of scandals to rock the university.
Puliafito’s successor, Dr. Rohit Varma, was ousted less than a year after his appointment, following revelations of a sexual harassment settlement from 15 years earlier, in which a woman accused him of unwanted sexual advances in 2002.
Most recently, USC gynecologist Dr. George Tyndall, 71, was accused of sexual abuse by more than 50 women in the course of more than two decades after a bombshell report from the Los Angeles Times earlier this month that the women had complained about the doctor, the behavior of the year — with the school and taking no action until 2016.
The Tyndall scandal led USC President C. L. Max Nikias, 65, to announce his resignation Friday.
Tyndall has denied any wrongdoing in interviews with the times.
During the Wednesday hearing, the statement of the medical board claimed that Puliafito would “see patients within a few hours of the use of methamphetamine,” in addition to the provision of drugs and paraphernalia to Warren, and her brother Charles Warren, who was 17 at the time, the paper reported, quoting a request.
Osinoff denied those claims, arguing that his client never treated patients while under the influence of drugs, nor has he ever illegally offer drugs, adding that Puliafito has not used methamphetamine since July of last year, according to the paper.
The lawyer argued that Warren drugged Puliafito “without his consent,” while he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on clothing, housing, and rehabilitation, among other things, for her.
Osinoff also claimed Warren’s parents tried to extort money from Puliafito, but Sarah and Charles Warren denied the allegations, the times reported.
Puliafito attended the hearing, which will determine whether or not the doctor can keep practicing.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Benjamin Brown is a reporter from Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bdbrown473.