L.A. County Officials Investigating AIDS Office Director for Campaign Fundraising Role, Might Audit AIDS Contracts
Los Angeles County officials on Tuesday announced that they are performing an investigation into fundraising activities conducted by the director of the county's Office of AIDS Programs and Policy while on a leave of absence and might audit all of the county's AIDS contracts from the past four years, the Los Angeles Daily News reports (Anderson, Los Angeles Daily News, 3/9). The county Department of Health Services is investigating whether Charles Henry, director of the county AIDS office, used county resources while soliciting contributions from contractors for Antonio Villaraigosa's mayoral campaign and whether Henry's efforts constitute a conflict of interest, the Los Angeles Times reports. County officials have not decided if soliciting contributions from contractors violates county policies (Leonard, Los Angeles Times, 3/9). During a meeting on the issue last week, county Supervisor Michael Antonovich asked the county auditor to join the investigation and conduct an audit of all AIDS contracts established in the previous four years to determine if the county had been correctly billed. John Schunhoff, chief of operations for public health in the county, said the health services department is "looking into all these issues that were raised" and plans to issue a report as soon as the investigation is complete. "But regardless of how this comes out, this won't have an impact on direct program services for people with HIV and AIDS," Schunhoff said. Henry and Villaraigosa could not be reached for comment, according to the Daily News (Los Angeles Daily News, 3/9).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.