The former dean of the University of Southern California’s (USC) medical school was placed on leave and is under investigation after it was discovered that he led a secret life riddled with sex and hardcore drugs.
Carmen Puliafito, 66, resigned from his $1.1 million annual post as dean of USC’s Kek Medical School last March when it was discovered that he had befriended a 21-year-old woman who was a prostitute and who overdosed on heroin in his presence in a Pasadena hotel room, according to Southern California Public Radio. He reportedly resigned from his post three weeks after the incident.
The Los Angeles Times first revealed the story after someone with knowledge of the situation tipped the publication off.
The Times noted that as of Monday, Puliafito’s USC Web page had reportedly been changed to say he is “not accepting or seeing patients.”
The Times also reported that during his tenure as dean, Puliafito kept company with a circle of criminals and drug users and captured photos and video of his involvement with the illicit substances over the course of one year. The publication notes:
In one video, a tuxedo-clad Puliafito displays an orange pill on his tongue and says into the camera, “Thought I’d take an ecstasy before the ball.” Then he swallows the pill.
In another, Puliafito uses a butane torch to heat a large glass pipe outfitted for methamphetamine use. He inhales and then unleashes a thick plume of white smoke. Seated next to him on a sofa, a young woman smokes heroin from a piece of heated foil.
The overdose occurred at the Hotel Constance in Pasadena. Just before 5 p.m. on March 4, 2016, a hotel employee called 911 to report that a guest had suffered an apparent overdose. The woman, Sarah Warren, now 22, told the Times she became incapacitated while using drugs with Puliafito.
In 2011, CBS reported that police raided the home of Steve Kinzey, an associate professor of kinesiology at California State University, San Bernardino and that law enforcement discovered “more than a pound of methamphetamine, unregistered rifles and handguns, body armor, leather biker vests and evidence of his involvement with a motorcycle gang.”