Spokane Regional Health District refuses to answer questions about Lutz’s departure
SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Regional Health District called a news conference on Friday to discuss health officer Dr. Bob Lutz’s departure but refused to answer the majority of questions asked by local reporters.
Administrative Officer Amelia Clark said Lutz is no longer serving as Spokane County’s health officer, but would not clarify whether he was terminated or resigned on his own. The health district said the decision to ask for Lutz’s resignation came because of his “performance in his role as the health officer,” though they declined to offer specifics, citing a “personnel” matter.
All Clark would say was that she made the request to ask Lutz to resign during an executive session on Thursday night, and as of Friday, Lutz was no longer with the health district.
A letter was sent to staff members saying Lutz’s last day would be Friday. As of this writing, Spokane County does not have a health officer and plans are underway to appoint an interim health officer.
Other employees at the health district are just as surprised by the move.
“We really need to come together as a community, and this is one more thing that’s driving us further apart,” SRHD employee AJ Sanders said.
Now, those employees aren’t sure how the next few days or weeks will be handled as COVID-19 cases surge in Spokane.
“To have that happen now, I’m very concerned about our public’s health,” Sanders said. “I don’t know what decisions will be made without him involved in those conversations.”
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