A Harris County public well being physician is charged with stealing a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine, Harris County District Lawyer Kim Ogg introduced in a press launch Thursday.
Authorities stated Dr. Hasan Gokal stole the vial containing 9 doses whereas working on the county vaccination web site at Lyndsay Lyons Park in Humble on December 29, 2020.
Every week later, he advised a fellow Harris County Public Well being worker, who later reported him to supervisors.
Based on Harris County Public Well being, mishandling of the vaccine may end in lack of authorities funding to the county, prompting an investigation into the allegation.
Subsequently, Gokal was fired.
Later, Harris County Decide Lina Hidalgo and County Lawyer Christian Menefee contacted prosecutors.
“He abused his place to line up his family and friends in entrance of people that had gone by the authorized course of to be there,” Ogg stated. “What he did was unlawful and he will likely be held accountable by legislation.”
Authorities stated Gokal ignored county protocols to make sure the vaccine is just not wasted, however slightly is run to weak populations and front-line staff on a ready checklist.
Gokal faces a category A misdemeanor, which carries a sentence of as much as one 12 months in jail and a $ four,000 high quality. He’s being prosecuted by the Public Corruption Division of the Harris County District Lawyer’s Workplace.
Paul Doyle, Gokal’s registered lawyer, launched a press release Wednesday:
Dr. Gokal is a devoted public servant who ensured that doses of the COVID-19 vaccine that may in any other case have expired went to the arms of people that met the standards to obtain it. Harris County would have most popular that Dr. Gokal let the vaccines go to waste and is making an attempt to disparage this man’s fame within the course of to endorse this coverage. We sit up for our day in courtroom to right this error.
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