Reporting Andy Sheehan
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — For 20 years he’s been the go-to guy for every health emergency, but it appears that Dr. Bruce Dixon’s days as head of the Allegheny County Health Department may be numbered.
It looks like County Executive Rich Fitzgerald intends to find a new director.
“I’ve heard the same things,” Dr. Dixon said. “The executive would like to replace me. I do work for the Board of Health, but I think he’s certainly lobbying the board to try and get my termination.”
Sources close to the situation say it’s true – Fitzgerald is pushing for Dixon’s removal. He faces a termination vote by the health board a week from Wednesday.
Dixon intends to fight for his job.
“I would basically stand on my own record,” he said. “I think I’ve done a pretty good job for the citizens of this county.”
But in recent years, Dixon has run into criticism from a high rate of mortality at the Allegheny County Jail to a promised restaurant health rating system that never came about to catching fire from environmentalists who said he wasn’t’ enforcing air quality standards.
“I’ve talked to some members of the board,” Dixon said. “I think I have some supporters. I think I have some detractors.”
Dixon has complained of lack of resources and personnel, but Fitzgerald’s new appointments to the board are looking for new leadership.
Andy Sheehan: “Do you believe the board is stacked against you?”
“I wouldn’t say stacked,” Dixon said. “I think that the board is – they’re all people that I think are very honorable citizens. Are they getting undo pressure? I can’t say for certain. I think they may be.”