Crime & Justice

USC fires 2 administrators as Tyndall gynecology scandal widens

A young man rides a bicycle on the campus of the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, California on May 17, 2018.
A young man rides a bicycle on the campus of the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, California on May 17, 2018.
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Two University of Southern California administrators have been fired in the wake of a newspaper's report that Dr. George Tyndall, a former campus gynecologist who examined students for 30 years, was the subject of numerous misconduct claims.

The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that the school also received about 200 complaints from former patients and that USC is planning to forward some of them to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The paper reported earlier in the week that Tyndall continued to examine young women even though he was the subject of complaints that started years ago. The complaints against Tyndall include claims of inappropriate remarks about patients' bodies and inappropriate touching during pelvic exams.

Tyndall was suspended with pay in 2016 and resigned with a confidential financial settlement in 2017, the paper reported.

Tyndall denied wrongdoing in earlier interviews with the paper. He didn't return phone calls last week.

The entrance to the Engemann Student Health Center on the campus of the University of Southern California (USC) is seen in Los Angeles, California on May 17, 2018.
The entrance to the Engemann Student Health Center on the campus of the University of Southern California (USC) is seen in Los Angeles, California on May 17, 2018.
ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

In a letter to the university community, USC President C.L. Max Nikias stated he read reports from Tyndall's patients over "many difficult hours" and that it left him profoundly disturbed.

"He should have been removed and referred to the authorities years ago," he wrote. "Once again, I want to personally apologize to any student who visited our student health center and was made to feel uncomfortable in any way. You deserved better, and we let you down."

According to the Times, the university fired Dr. William Leavitt, the clinic's top doctor, and Tammie Akiyoshi, the clinic's director.

"I'm basically the scapegoat," Leavitt told the paper. "From my perspective it's a wrongful termination."

Leavitt has worked at USC since 1991. Akiyoshi didn't return calls seeking comment.

Todd Dickey, USC's senior vice president for administration, said in a statement the terminations were due to newly received patient complaints indicating the extent of Tyndall's conduct.

"The university does not take personnel decisions lightly, but will hold people accountable for their supervision and inaction."