Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie has not yet found a permanent state health director, and now he has been tripped up over the interim appointment.
Neal Palafox, interim director of the State Department of Health since Dec. 18, resigned Wednesday. He left within hours of DOH’s decision to shut down at popular contract food manufacturing center over concerns about potentially inadequate processing and botulism.
Palafox’s sudden exit comes amid an investigation by Hawaii Attorney General David Louie into medical reimbursement fraud, according to Hawaii News Now.
Prior to taking the interim appointment, Palafox chaired the University of Hawaii’s John A. Burns Schools of Medicine’s Department of Family Practice and Community Health. He also practiced at Wahiawa General Hospital.