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News In Brief

Medical Center Employees Take Part in Foot-Washing Ceremony
Orange County religious leaders honored UC Medical Center workers in a foot-washing ceremony in gratitude for their consistent efforts to help patients despite struggling with low wages and benefits. The ceremony was held at the UC Irvine Medical Center on March 20.
The UC Medical Centers earned $371 million in profit in 2007, while their workers earned 25 percent less in wages, when compared to similar medical facilities. As a result, clergy in Orange County, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and San Diego are asking UC Regents to show care and respect for these workers.
Foot washing is traditionally a Christian ceremony held during Holy Week, which occurred this year from March 16 to 23.

Mesa Court Zot Alert Investigation Extended
The investigation of the Mesa Court incident concerning a male subject who suspiciously entered rooms in Mesa Court has been extended once again due to a need to conduct additional lab work. The case, which stems from an event first made public via a zotAlert sent out Feb. 10 was last extended three to four weeks in late February.
According to UC Irvine Chief of Police Paul Henisey, undisclosed evidence was undergoing testing for the past six weeks. Findings from these tests will be determined in the next two weeks.
“The case is [still] under investigation. We actually have submitted a series of evidence to the Orange County Crime Lab that may be helpful in terms of our follow-up investigation of the case and we’re waiting for the results of the study of that evidence to come back,” Henisey said.

Calif. Bill Would Ban Photographs of Minors on Certain Web Sites
As a result of UC Irvine Police Department dispatcher Scott Cornelius’ alleged distribution of pictures of high-school water polo players to gay pornographic Web sites, the California Assembly Public Safety Committee passed a bill that would make such acts illegal on Tuesday, March 25.
The bill, AB2104, was the Assembly’s “first step toward making it illegal to publish or post photographs or images of minors younger than 18 on Internet Web sites containing obscene material without their consent,” the Orange County Register reported.
The new legislation is the first definitive stance that any government has taken as a result of the appearance of photographs credited to Cornelius appearing on gay porn Web sites.
Knowledge of the photographs was made public on January 20. UCIPD placed Cornelius on leave, but is waiting for the conclusion of an outside private investigation, as well as a district attorney’s investigation, before it makes any final decisions.
AB2104, authored by Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, was passed unanimously by the Public Safety Committee on Tuesday. The bill will next be presented on the Assembly floor in the near future, possibly as early as next month.

UC Irvine Medical Center Receives New Chief Officer and Vice Chancellor
Maureen Zehntner was named chief executive officer of UC Irvine’s Medical Center as well as associate vice chancellor for Medical Center Affairs.
Zehntner’s ascension follows almost 13 years on the Medical Center’s management team, which she first joined in 1996 as the center’s chief operating officer. In 2005 Zehntner climbed another rung on the ladder of her career when she was named the hospital’s interim CEO.
Perhaps the most significant responsibility that Zehntner will immediately take on is overseeing the completion of UCI’s new university hospital, which is scheduled to open in 2009.
“These new and enhanced facilities will allow us to meet the growing healthcare needs of our community,” Zehntner said in a UCI press release.

School of Humanities Installs New Dean
Vicki L. Ruiz, a history professor at UC Irvine who specializes in Chicano/Latino studies, was named the dean of UC Irvine’s School of Humanities and will assume the role effective immediately.
Since earning her Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1982, Ruiz has taught at a plethora of schools including UC Davis, Arizona State University and the University of Texas at El Paso. In 2001 Ruiz joined the UCI faculty where she served as chair of the Department of History and the director of K-12 outreach programs