A former USC dean who described himself as a “God” to medical students lived a secret life of drinking, drug use and partying with addicts and prostitutes – sometimes even after-hours on the school’s campus -- according to an explosive new investigative report.
Dr. Carmen A. Puliafito, the dean of USC’s Keck School of Medicine, was a top bundler for the institution before his resignation in March 2016, hauling in $200 million in research grants while overseeing hundreds of students and thousands of professors and clinicians, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
But three weeks before leaving the $1.1-million-a-year post, a 21-year-old woman had overdosed in his company at Pasadena hotel, with the ensuing investigation by the newspaper revealing Puliafito’s secret life.
“He would say, ‘They love me around here. The medical students think I am God,’” said Sarah Warren, the woman who overdosed.
Photos and videos of the 66-year-old reviewed by the Los Angeles Times showed Puliafito and others partying in hotel rooms, cars -- and even the dean’s office -- with his acquaintances.
“Thought I’d take an ecstasy before the ball,” Puliafito, wearing a tuxedo, says in one video before swallowing an orange pill on his tongue, the newspaper reported. Another video shows the former dean heating up a pipe outfitted for methamphetamine use.
Puliafito had worked at the school for nearly a decade and hung up without offering comment when called by a reporter last week. School officials have declined comment and he continues to represent USC’s medical school, speaking at a Keck-sponsored program at a hotel in Pasadena Saturday – one of the hotels which a member of the group said she frequented with him.