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BB CHIROPRATIC HAYES.JPGThe state Senate today approved a $600,000 settlement in a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by the former executive director of the Board of Chiropractic Examiners.

Catherine Hayes was fired in 2007 amid clashes with then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's appointees to the seven-member panel. A Bee investigation found that she had sent an email to the governor's office challenging the competency of the appointees shortly before her dismissal.

Then-board chairman Richard Tyler, a chiropractor and longtime friend of Schwarzenegger's, briefly assumed the role of interim executive director, and the board came under fire for taking several controversial actions in the wake of the shake-up. Lawmakers later deemed that the panel violated open-meeting laws and that Hayes was improperly fired.

Hayes filed a lawsuit in Sacramento Superior Court in 2008 alleging that she had been fired for cooperating with a criminal investigation into the practice of chiropractors working on patients under anesthesia and for reprimanding board members for not complying with open-meeting laws.

The bill, which was approved on a 37-0 vote, directs $600,000 from the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners' Fund to pay for the settlement. It now goes to the Assembly for approval.

PHOTO CREDIT: Fired Executive Director, Catherine Hayes testifies during the California Board of Chiropractic Examiners meeting held at the Department of Consumer Affairs, Friday March 23, 2007. Brian Baer, Sacramento Bee.


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