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Jefferson County Sheriff John P. Burns moves to replace Dr. David F. Rosner as jail physician

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Jefferson County Sheriff John P. Burns is seeking to replace Dr. David F. Rosner as jail physician, according to an email that Mr. Burns said was sent to county administrators and legislators in confidence.

“I never knew anything about this,” Dr. Rosner said Monday afternoon. “It’s embarrassing to just be blindsided like this, but I just don’t know why.”

The email, which was included Friday with the agenda of the Board of Legislators Finance and Rules Committee meeting tonight, is brief and outlines complaints that Mr. Burns had with Dr. Rosner’s service.

“I have had some issues as of late with Dr. Rosner such as not seeing inmates, not coming to the jail, and also referring inmates to other doctors outside of the jail. Dr. Rosner was hired for one to perform minor surgeries in the jail so we would not have to send inmates out this is not being done,” the email reads in part.

“This is a 100 percent surprise to me,” said Dr. Rosner, who works for the county jail on a contract basis.

As a replacement for Dr. Rosner, Mr. Burns has recommended Dr. Collins F. Kellogg.

Dr. Kellogg “is willing to take over as the jail Physician and oversee the nurses and P.A.’s — Physician’s Assistants — that we have in the jail,” Mr. Burns wrote.

Mr. Burns said the content of the email concerned a personnel matter and should not have been released. Doing so violated Dr. Rosner’s employment rights, he said.

He said he received assurance from Deputy Administrator Michael E. Kaskan that the email would be kept private.

Mr. Kaskan said that the email was included in the agenda as evidence of the sheriff’s recommendation and that it did not include any explicit request for confidentiality.

The sheriff does not have the authority to change the jail physician.

“Only the board has the power to remove him,” Mr. Kaskan said.

Mr. Burns said he thought the email was distributed with the agenda, which is a public document, so that the ultimate responsibility for the decision would rest with him.

“I think that what they did was, they didn’t want to be the bad guy,” he said.

Mr. Burns said that he stands by the comments he made in his email but that he doesn’t want to “embarrass the guy.”

Calling Dr. Rosner “an excellent surgeon,” Mr. Burns said that he was not happy with the work he was doing at the jail and that it was “time for us to part ways.”

Again calling the matter a “personnel issue,” Mr. Burns said the email never should have gone out to the public.

The Finance and Rules Committee will vote tonight on whether to recommend the resolution to the full board. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the Board of Legislators chambers, 195 Arsenal St.

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