According to the Los Angeles Times, Carmen Puliafito, 67, the former Dean at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, was pushed into drug use by a 21-year-old former prostitute named Sarah Warren. His counsel argued that the Harvard-trained ophthalmologist is bipolar and became “addicted” to the young woman who led him into perdition.
Puliafito insists that it was Warren who pushed him into street drugs like meth and that she was an even heavier user. Puliafito resigned from his $1.1 million annual post three weeks after Warren overdosed in his Pasadena hotel room. He has now stopped using meth and wanted to keep his medical license.
The most serious allegations are that he might have supplied drugs to Warren, though he categorically denies those allegations.
His counsel offered a narrative worthy of a Jane Austen novel. He was portrayed as a vulnerable man who sought to rescue Warren from a “life of drugs and prostitution” but soon himself trapped in a “fantasy” world filled with drugs and reckless acts. Warren is portrayed as his Siren drawing him deeper and deeper into this drug-filled world.
Usually faculty controversies are not nearly this compelling. Puliafito may not get his license back but he has a movie script already written.
Kudos: Professor Roger E. Schechter