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Opinion

Ex-Duval Health Director Responds to Audit

The former director of the Duval County Health Department says severe budget cuts and decisions made at the state level can be blamed for some of the problems detailed in a critical audit.

Robert Harmon’s column in the Florida Times-Union said a staff "housecleaning" related to tuberculosis cases in the homeless population were addressed before the Department of Health’s Inspector General initiated an investigation and issued a scathing audit.

Harmon retired in 2012 after leading the Duval Health Department for six years. He said during his tenure, he had to cut programs and staff by more than 25 percent. Criticisms that the department failed to issue news releases regarding the TB cluster are tied to Tallahassee, which had authority over the release of that information, he wrote in the Times-Union.