Without working a single day in 2014, the second-highest paid Los Angeles County employee collected almost $800,000 from a settlement after he was fired as chief medical officer of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in 2012.
Dr. Gail Anderson received $787,250.91 in 2014, comprised of salary and benefits from parts of 2012, the entire 2013 year and the first half of 2014, according to The Daily News. He had been placed on administrative leave in August 2011, and fired in July 2012. At the time Anderson was placed on leave, after serving as chief medical officer since 1998, Michael Wilson, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, had little to say other than, “It’s a personnel issue. We can’t go beyond that,” according to The Daily Breeze. Anderson was replaced by Dr. William Stringer, chair of the Department of Internal Medicine.
Anderson has served as an associate dean at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and has been on the board of directors at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute.
Speculation that Anderson’s leaving and subsequent firing were due to disciplinary problems was floated by Anderson’s attorney, Richard Carroll, who said the “primary feature” in a notice Anderson received was insubordination. Carroll denied rumors reported in The Los Angeles Times that Anderson’s departure was due to credentialing issues.
Anderson filed suit in June 2012 against Dr. Mitchell Katz, who had taken over the Department of Health Services in January of 2011, and DHS Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hal F. Yee Jr., claiming they had leaked Anderson’s departure to the Los Angeles Times and the Daily Breeze. The suit charged Katz and Yee with defamation, libel, slander and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
After Anderson was fired, he challenged the firing to the Civil Service Commission and filed a defamation lawsuit against the county. The ensuing settlement offered him back pay and his job back as head of the hospital outside the incorporated area of the county. According to county spokesman Joel Sappell, Anderson immediately retired after his reinstatement.
Anderson’s 2014 was the second-highest paid employee of the county in 2011, earning $555,217 in salary and benefits.