On July 24, 2013, representatives of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) met to begin discussions in anticipation of the passage of SB 304, a bill that would alter how the Medical Board of California investigates and prosecutes violations of State law committed by physicians. The current system of "Vertical Prosecution" requires employees of separate agencies, MBC investigators and attorneys from the Attorney General's Office, to work together in their enforcement efforts. Some of the problems with the current system is that there are dual chains of command and a lack of cohesiveness due to the separation.
If passed, SB 304 would move approximately 80 employees, the vast majority of whom are Unit 7 investigators to the Department of Justice. DOJ would likely form a new bureau which would be comprised of both investigators and attorneys assigned to jointly prosecute Medical Board cases.
The meeting was attended by CSLEA Chief Counsel Kasey Clark, Legal Counsel Jim Vitko, ASA-DOJ President Al Cardwood, and MBC Investigator Michel Veverka, along with DOJ Division of Law Enforcement Director Larry Wallace and several representatives from DOJ Labor Relations/Personnel. The parties began addressing subjects which will have to be ironed out should the transition occur, including backgrounds, compensation, seniority, office consolidation and training. The discussions were informal and informational at this juncture. It is anticipated that further meetings will occur as SB 304 continues to make its way through the Legislature.