Arizona Medical Board Executive Director, C. Lloyd Vest, abruptly resigns

PHOENIX - The Arizona Medical Board is looking for a new Executive Director for the second time in less than a year.

The most recent director, C. Lloyd Vest, resigned earlier this week after only five months on the job.

In a statement, Board Chairman Dr. Gordi Khera says in part, Mr. Vest's decision did not involve issues related to public health and safety concerns.

We found the Arizona Department of Administration (ADOA) was investigating a sexual harassment claim against Vest.

Documents show it was filed by a medical board employee with whom Vest exchanged friendly text messages.

But according to the report, the employee alleges that after she sent him a message declining to go hiking with him, she was retaliated against.

She says she was "belittled and blamed" by Vest and alleges, among other things, she was" denied a promotional opportunity."

The report says during the investigation, Vest denied the claim saying he didn't have approval to hire someone full time, and that he "had done nothing inappropriate."

The ADOA only conducts fact finding investigations and is not tasked with determining innocence or guilt, so the findings of the report were turned over to the medical board "for resolution."

Vest submitted his resignation on August 27.  It's not clear whether the report or its findings are related to Vest's departure.

It's the latest in a series of problems involving the Arizona Medical Board.

In February of last year, the ABC15 Investigators broke the story about employee concerns that doctor licenses were issued too quickly and without proper vetting.

Then, Executive Director Lisa Wynn, denied any issues.

She was fired in October 2013, after a state Ombudsman report alleged Wynn's new licensing policies violated state law.

Since then state lawmakers pushed for the review of thousands of doctors' licenses for possible missed background concerns.

New fingerprinting policies and additional background checks are currently being implemented for doctors looking to be licensed in Arizona.

We tried to get a hold of Vest Friday  through phone numbers, the medical board and other methods, but were not able to reach him for comment.

Friday night, the board voted unanimously to name current Deputy Director Patricia McSorley the Interim Acting Executive Director while they start the search for a permanent replacement.

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