Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Releases Results of Investigation Into County AIDS Office
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has released the results of an investigative report into alleged conflicts of interest within the county's Office of AIDS Programs and Policy, but some AIDS advocates say that the results are "vague and inconclusive," the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports (Rester, Long Beach Press-Telegram, 12/10). Supervisors requested the investigation over concerns that OAPP Director Chuck Henry had a conflict of interest because he also served as head of the HIV Commission which determines how federal and state money is spent. A separate county auditor-controller investigation, issued in November, indicated there "was at least the appearance of conflicts of interest" within the HIV Commission, which is the legislative body for the OAPP (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 12/5). While the report cites "conflict-of-interest statutes and requirements for counties to receive federal HIV/AIDS funds," it does not address whether the statutes or requirements are being violated by the commission, the Press-Telegram reports. According to the report, "By both federal law and county ordinance, members are prohibited from being involved in the selection of specific funding. As a result, the members should not be confronted with participating in those decisions." Ressie Roman, health deputy for county supervisor Michael Antonovich, suggested that there were no conflict of interest violations, adding, "The auditor-controller has said there are perceptions of conflicts of interest, but this report doesn't reference that," the Press-Telegram reports. Ged Kenslea, a spokesperson for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said, "I'm surprised it took so many calls to get this released. It doesn't seem like this is a report they really need to sit on." However, Miki Jackson, another spokesperson for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said, "If you read it closely, it shows there are conflicts with Chuck [Henry] and [his assistant] Gunther [Freehill]" voting on which HIV/AIDS agencies receive funding (Long Beach Press-Telegram, 12/10).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.