Prostitutes, Criminals, and the Once-Good Doctor

The Mind-Bogging Fall of Carmen A. Puliafito, MD, Ex-Dean of the Keck School of Medicine

For those of us who admit to needing a gossip fix now and then, this story aught to keep us satisfied for at least a year. It’s an old formula, though. Begin with a man who’s a pillar of his profession, lionized and feted by the beautiful people in part because of the work he’s done for the unbeautiful people, the down-and-outers, the little guys. Make him a hero to the young; someone worthy of passing the torch to future generations.

The Los Angles Times reports on just what happened to Carmen A. Puliafito, MD, former dean of the Keck School of Medicine, and it isn’t pretty. “During his tenure as dean, Puliafito kept company with a circle of criminals and drug users who said he used methamphetamine and other drugs with them,…” the newspaper reports.

And, in this day and age, who isn’t a little wary of being filmed doing anything? That didn’t seem to bother Puliafito. “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,” the newspaper reports. “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.”

Well, we knew that was coming — the young woman. She is Sarah Warren, who overdosed in a Pasadena hotel room while partying with Puliafito. They met, the Times reports, while she was working as a prostitute.

Warren told the newspaper that Puliafito once said of his students: “They love me around here. The medical students think I am God.”

The Los Angeles Times: “A recording made the night before the overdose shows Puliafito and Warren in a room at the hotel. Warren asks him to help her crush methamphetamine in preparation for doing a ‘hot rail,’ a method of snorting the drug. ‘Absolutely,’ Puliafito replies. Warren is later shown bending over a tray with several lines of white powder.”

You can’t make this stuff up. It’s a long article, too. Almost 4,000 words.

Source: Los Angeles Times