California cried for their budget problem for years now. Yet its system and bureaucracy paid so much to this doc who hasn’t seen a patient for 5 years.
Don’t you think he should be let go, or at least making something like $13/hr (as Mr. Javier Toro in another post) for the mail room type of work he does?
July 13, 2011
The highest-paid state employee in California last
year, earning $777,423, is a prison doctor who isn’t
allowed to see patients, state officials said.
Dr. Jeffrey Rohlfing, 65, has successfully appealed
attempts by the receiver who oversees California’s
prison health-care system to dismiss him and is
working in the medical records office at High Desert
State Prison in Susanville, said Nancy Kincaid, a
spokeswoman for the receiver, J. Clark Kelso.
He hasn’t seen patients since 2005 and has a history
of mental illness, she said.
Rohlfing earned the standard salary for doctors in the
prison health-care system last year, $235,740,
Kincaid said. He also got two years’ back pay after a
November 2009 ruling upholding an earlier decision
that the state had to hire him back.
“We had no choice. Clark Kelso did not want to have
this doctor on staff, but was ordered to take him
back,” she said.
A lawyer for Rohlfing could not immediately be
reached for comment.
Jacob Roper, a spokesman for State Controller John
Chiang, confirmed that Rohlfing was California’s
highest-paid employee last year. Second on the list
was another prison doctor, Dr. Fong Lai, who earned
$736,000, he said.
Rohlfing was placed on probation for five years in
1996, according to Medical Board of California
records, because of “bizarre, irrational and delusional
communications” with the staff of Valley Children’s
Hospital in Fresno, where he then worked.
In July that year, he appeared at the hospital
“disheveled…agitated” and strongly smelling of
alcohol and accosted a staff member, who called
police, according to the board records. After a car
chase with police, cops placed him in psychiatric
hold. Two weeks later, he was again placed in
Despite his history, Rohling was hired as a prison
doctor in 2003, Kincaid said.
Rohlfing had originally been put on paid leave in
2005 after failing to send two patients with chest
pains to emergency rooms despite a history of heart
trouble, she said. His supervisor found that in both
cases the care had been “substandard,” according to a
report in the Los Angeles Times.
His clinical privileges were revoked and he was fired
in 2007. But he won his appeal to the State Personnel
Board in 2008 for being terminated, Kincaid said. The
state appealed but the ruling was upheld. Health
officials, who still didn’t have confidence in Rohlfing,
voted to continue the revocation of Rohlfing’s clinical
privileges, Kincaid said.
He is one of six doctors at the prison, which has
4,275 inmates, she said, and has attended a skills
evaluation program at the University of California at