Tufts University severs ties

with family behind OxyContin

BOSTON (AP) — Tufts University is cutting ties with the billionaire family that owns OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, saying it will strip the Sackler name from its campus and accept no further donations amid concerns over the family’s role in the opioid crisis.

University officials announced the decision Thursday, ending a relationship that has spanned nearly four decades and brought $15 million to the school’s science and medical programs. Tufts leaders said they considered the issue for more than a year before concluding it is inconsistent with the school’s values to display the family’s name.

“We had to deal with the reality that the Sackler name has become associated with a health care epidemic. Given our medical school’s mission, we needed to reconcile that,” Peter Dolan, chairman of Tufts’ board of trustees, said in an interview.

Within hours of the announcement, however, the family vowed to fight back.

“We will be seeking to have this improper decision reversed and are currently reviewing all options available to us,” said Daniel Connolly, an attorney for members of the Sackler family. He added that the decision is based on “unproven allegations about the Sackler family and Purdue.”

Former FAA inspector gets 6 years

for bribery, fraud scheme

MIAMI (AP) — A former Federal Aviation Administration safety inspector in South Florida was sentenced Thursday to six years and three months in prison for his part in a bribery and fraud scheme.

A federal jury in Miami found Manuel Fernandez, 42, guilty in June of 21 criminal counts, including bribery, lying to a federal agency and wire fraud.

From 2010 to 2013, Fernandez worked for the FAA South Florida Flight Standards District Office while also working for AVCOM, a Miami aviation repair company under the FAA’s jurisdiction, prosecutors said.

AVCOM owners Patricia Suarez and Rolando Suarez paid Fernandez more than $150,000, as well as jewelry, a cruise, clothing and about $15,000 for Fernandez’s mother, according to court documents. In exchange, Fernandez provided advance notice of inspections, disclosed financial information about AVCOM’s competitors and provided AVCOM with improperly obtained aviation repair manuals that contained expensive proprietary information. Fernandez also lied to the FAA and Department of Transportation about his connection to AVCOM.