The commander of the Long Beach Naval Hospital is being transferred, but Navy officials said last week that the move is not related to recent claims that the facility has been dangerously under-equipped.
Navy Capt. Clarence William Cote’, commanding officer since 1987, will leave May 19 to assume command of the Naval Hospital Corps School in Great Lakes, Ill.
“It’s just a regular change of command,” said Ensign Richard Dewey, a hospital spokesman. “It’s a step up in his career.”
As of Thursday, Dewey said, it was unclear who would replace Cote’.
Earlier this year, the 114-bed facility--the only Naval hospital in Los Angeles County--made headlines after a group of physicians in its internal medicine department signed a memo saying they would refuse to treat seriously ill patients because of conditions at the facility, which they considered poorly equipped and under-staffed.
According to Dewey, the commander’s imminent reassignment is unrelated to those revelations.
“His tenure here has been successful,” Dewey said of Cote’. "(Such reassignments) happen every day in the Navy.”
Cote’ could not be reached for comment.