ALBUQUERQUE: A 2011 opinion from 2nd Judicial District Judge Alan Malott adds yet another perspective to recent claims that the University of New Mexico has been wronged by the board of regents taking back oversight of UNM Health Science Center.
Over two weeks ago we shared how UNM HSC oversight was given to the HSC board of directors, and power was taken away from the UNM board of regents in 2010 and the University President, while the creation of a UNM HSC board which was meant to provide oversight. This “take over” was orchestrated by Paul Roth’s during his brief time as interim president of UNM. It was during this time that Roth set about to restructure UNM HSC, by appointing himself as “chancellor, ” free from direct oversight of the University President and Board of Regents– in what could be called nothing short of a power grab to set up his own little “kingdom.”
Roth’s “kingdom” hasn’t been all lilacs and roses. In 2011 he was involved directly in an incident that paints UNM HSC in a bad light and cost the UNM board of regents $100,000.
In 2011, a medical malpractice lawsuit where University of New Mexico Health was named became sticky when Dr. Ian Paul, who was disclosed as an expert witness. Paul was threatened and intimidated by UNM Hospital officials, under Chancellor Roth, and decided not to testify. “I have been getting a lot of pressure from the higher ups at University of New Mexico Hospital to withdraw,” Dr. Paul said in an email, “…The fallout for me is not worth it at this point.” The attorney for the woman in the malpractice case called the incident witness tampering.
An Albuquerque Journal article reads:
The court found that Health Sciences Center counsel Scot Sauder, with “Dr. Roth’s unfortunate imprimatur,” had “willfully and improperly” interfered with a witness, adversely affecting the court docket, the litigants and the administration of justice.
Apparently Roth was a moving force behind interfering with a witness as he derailed justice– perhaps hoping for a court ruling in UNM’s favor!? Yet another illustration of why UNM HSC is better off under the supervision and Roth is left with less decision-making power.
“That any public entity, let alone the flagship university of this state, believes it has such power to stifle comment is both terrifying and in violation of public policy,” Judge Malott’s opinion reads. This is a remarkable opinion coming from Judge Malott who is a liberal judge– for instance, he was the judge who ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in August of 2013.
Think about Roth’s credibility– we know he orchestrated in the restructuring “take over” of UNM HSC for his own benefit. Roth and his UNM HSC attorney also sought to, in the words of Judge Malott, “willfully and improperly,” interfere with a witness. And this not only makes the university look corrupt, but also cost them $100,000!
How trustworthy is Roth? You decide…