GLENDALE -- Pursuing potential disciplinary action against convicted
killer Efren Saldivar's hospital co-workers continues to be one of the
Respiratory Care Board of California's highest priorities, officials
That investigation will kick into high gear once again next month,
when grand jury transcripts are released following the April 17
sentencing of the former respiratory therapist.
Saldivar, 32, pleaded guilty Tuesday to murdering six elderly patients
while working at Glendale Adventist Medical Center in 1996 and 1997. He
injected them with Pavulon, a paralyzing drug that stops breathing.
In his Jan. 9, 2001, confession to Glendale Police, Saldivar said he
stopped keeping track of his victims when he killed for the 60th time in
1994, police said.
The hospital began investigating Saldivar in 1997 after receiving a
tip that one of its employees was killing patients. Former co-workers
have told police they knew he was doing it and that they saw unauthorized
prescription drugs in his locker at the hospital.
Pursuing disciplinary action against those co-workers has been one of
the board's highest priorities since the Saldivar investigation began,
said Stephanie Nunez, the board's executive officer.
Saldivar's license was revoked on March 13, 1998, two days after he
was arrested by Glendale Police. He was later released due to a lack of
After his 1998 confession, he and four co-workers at Glendale
Adventist were fired. But the co-workers all kept their licenses.
The only one disciplined by the state -- and that was a reprimand --
was a co-worker who told their supervisor about Saldivar's "magic
Another co-worker told Glendale Police in 1998 she once gave succinyl
choline, a powerful muscle relaxant used in surgery, to Saldivar.
The board's investigation stalled due to several factors, Nunez said.
"It has been a high priority," Nunez said. "It's not something that's
new; we've been tracking it very closely. It's a matter of getting
In addition to not wanting to interfere with the investigation or the
prosecution's case, the simple fact was that "everyone was extremely not
cooperative," Nunez said.
"It was very difficult to obtain information from anyone interviewed,"
she added. Nunez declined to say who that included.
"The next step is to see if disciplinary action is warranted," she
Board officials will examine the grand jury transcripts to see whether
disciplinary action is warranted or whether additional investigation is
Disciplinary action could range from a formal reprimand to revoking
She declined to say how many people were being considered in the