Health officer tells county he’ll resign |

Health officer tells county he’ll resign

Dr. Ken Cutler, Nevada County’s public health officer, has sent a resignation letter to the Board of Supervisors, effective March 12.

Cutler recently was the target of criticism for refusing to name three restaurants in the Truckee area that served beef that was recalled because of possible contamination from mad cow disease.

However, Cutler said Monday that his decision to leave has nothing to do with the mad cow case. “I want to spend more time with my family,” he said.

Rick Haffey, county executive officer, confirmed that Cutler, who was appointed by the board less than a year ago, delivered the letter late last week. The doctor, Haffey said, had “done a fine job,” and that he planned to urge Cutler to stay. A search for a replacement has not yet begun, Haffey said.

District 1 Supervisor Peter Van Zant said Monday that Cutler’s letter “was only three sentences long, and he didn’t give a reason for leaving. We searched quite a while before we hired him, and I think he has done a very, very good job.”

Last Jan. 14, responding to rumors, Cutler confirmed that recalled beef was served but declined to specify where, citing a “memorandum of understanding” between the county, the state and the U.S. Department of Agriculture that prohibited disclosure.

“The health risk is very, very remote,” Cutler said at the time. “If I thought there was information that would have significant impact on public health, we would make all efforts to make that known.”

Cutler is a graduate of the University of San Francisco Medical School, was in private practice for eight years, and worked with early-childhood intervention services in Reno before coming to Nevada County. He lives in Truckee with his wife and three children.

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