On Wednesday the executive committee of USC’s board of trustees announced the hiring of outside counsel to conduct an investigation into the allegations against Tyndall. The same day the school’s academic senate called on Nikias to resign.
The scandal followed revelations last summer that the former dean of USC’s medical school had allegedly used drugs on campus and, later, partied with a young woman who overdosed in a motel. The woman survived.
Dr. Carmen Puliafito was the dean of the Keck School of Medicine when he resigned quietly in 2016. The resignation happened only a few weeks after a 21-year-old woman overdosed in a Pasadena hotel room he was sharing with her, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Issues with both men were known to university administrators, but little action was taken until the Los Angeles Times broke the stories.
Tyndall defended himself in a letter to the Los Angeles Times that was dated May 17 and received Thursday, the newspaper reported Friday.
Until March of 2016, the letter says, the doctor was made aware of only one complaint — that he used bare hands during a pelvic exam. He wrote that the campus clinic’s former executive director responded by polling its medical assistants, who verified “an exam without a glove never happened.”
The letter included what Tyndall wrote was positive feedback from patients he received in recent years, including one that read, “Overall Dr. Tyndall is a great doctor and a very friendly man who shows great care for his patients,” according to the newspaper. “Patients sometimes fabricate stories,” Tyndall wrote in the letter, according to the Times.
Attorney Gloria Allred, who said she now represents “numerous” women who allege they were victims of Tyndall, said in a statement Friday night that “It appears that U.S.C. had notice for decades that Dr. Tyndall had engaged in sexually inappropriate conduct with female U.S.C. students.”
“The resignation of President Nikias is a step in the right direction for U.S.C., but until there is justice for all of the victims, U.S.C. will not be able to move forward,” Allred said in the statement.