The former director of the CDC Thomas Frieden, MD, has been arrested for forcibly touching a woman and sexual abuse and harassment, multiple news outlets reported.
The New York Police Department filed three charges against Frieden on Friday, Aug. 24, stemming from an incident that took place at his Brooklyn Heights home in October. Frieden served as director of the CDC from 2009 to 2017. The 55-year-old woman reported the incident to police in July and told police Frieden grabbed her buttocks, the AP reported.
“The allegation does not reflect Dr. Frieden's public or private behavior or his values over a lifetime of service to improve health around the world," reads a statement on behalf of Friedan.
Frieden also served as New York City’s health commissioner prior to becoming director at the CDC. He was appointed to the CDC by President Barack Obama in 2009.
The CDC declined to comment on the arrest, telling HealthExec, "CDC has no information on this matter."
Since departing the CDC, Frieden has led Resolve to Save Lives initiative, a $225 million campaign by global health organization Vital Strategies.
Vital Strategies CEO Jose Castro issued a statement that the organization conducted an investigation to determine if any similar behaviors or allegations of harassment had taken place under Frieden’s leadership.
“This assessment determined there have been no incidents of workplace harassment,” Castro wrote. “Vital Strategies greatly values the work Dr. Frieden does to advance public health and he has my full confidence."
Law enforcement officials told CNN that the incident allegedly took place at a dinner party at Frieden’s home when he grabbed the woman without her consent as people were leaving. The two had known each other for several years.