Preliminary hearing for Walker, Bourne reset for Feb. 10
Mammoth residents Dr. Andrew C. Bourne, 46, and Joseph T. Walker, 48, were briefly back in Santa Barbara Superior Court on Thursday, Jan. 19.
The two men were arrested on Jan. 4 on several charges related to having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a Santa Barbara girl, now 15.
The relationship may date as far back as two years.
Inside the courtroom defense attorneys Samuel K. Eaton (representing Walker) and Ron Bamieh (representing Bourne) said they had received more than 125 pages in discovery documents thus far from Deputy District Attorney Mary Barron.
Judge George C. Eskin did make one ruling Thursday before continuing the hearing to Feb. 10 — that Walker and Bourne are to have no direct or indirect communication with each other until the next hearing without attorneys present.
He said he would “err on the side of caution” after D.A. Barron made vague references to a suggested “conspiracy.”
Barron said she was happy to call Santa Barbara Police Detective Jaycee Hunter as a
witness to support her position if necessary.
Eskin said he didn’t have time for testimony and would grant the temporary order.
Family members for both defendants were in attendance.
Mammoth Hospital CEO Gary Boyd confirmed on Wednesday, Jan. 18, that Dr. Andrew Bourne’s contract with the hospital had been terminated.
“He can’t fulfill his contract terms because he can’t physically be here,” Boyd explained. “He needs to focus on his legal issues at this time.”
Boyd met with Bourne on Sunday, Jan. 15, to deliver the termination. “Both of us agreed that this was the right thing to do,” Boyd said.
“I wanted to talk with him personally and make sure he heard it from me. I didn’t want him to read about it in the paper,” he added as explanation of why he had not made the announcement to the public any earlier.
To cover the extra work left by Bourne’s absence, the hospital is using a combination of traveling surgeons and part-time surgeons already on staff at Mammoth Hospital.
“Two physicians that are on staff are providing some coverage,” Boyd explained. “Both are second homeowners.”
These two physicians are Dr. Bryan Fandrich from Sacramento and Dr. Marc Sedwitz from San Diego.
Boyd explained the contracting in the following way: “Dr. Bourne was contracted to provide general surgery services 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While he was here he subcontracted with these two individuals [Fandrich and Sedwitz] to assist him since one person cannot work every day of the year, 24 hours a day. We [the hospital] are now contracting with these two directly.”
The traveling surgeons, also known as locum tenens are available at the hospital on a somewhat revolving basis.
“There is one here now until about this time next week,” Boyd said on Tuesday.
Boyd confirmed that the traveling surgeons do cost slightly more than the other doctors at the hospital.
“The locum tenens cost a little more because we have to pay per diem, whereas the other doctors receive a general rate,” Boyd said.
Bourne, also a member of the Mammoth Unified School District’s Board of Education, resigned from his post there on Friday, Jan. 13.
MUSD Superintendent Rich Boccia commented to The Sheet, “It was a wise decision.”
According to the Board’s Bylaws, “When a vacancy occurs four or more months before the end of a Board member’s term, the Board shall, within 60 days of the date of the vacancy or the filing of the member’s deferred resignation, either order an election or make a provisional appointment.”
The only reason for a mandated special election would be if the vacancy occurred from six months to 130 days before a regularly scheduled Board election at which the position is not scheduled to be filled.
Bourne’s term was set to expire this year. School Board elections will be held in November.
On Wednesday, Jan. 4, members of the Santa Barbara Police Department with the assistance of the Mammoth Lakes Police Department arrested Bourne, and Walker in Mammoth Lakes.
According to the Santa Barbara Police Department, Walker was arrested and booked for 6 counts of 288.3 PC, illegal communication with a minor to facilitate sexual activity and 1 count of 288 (c)(1) PC, unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. Bourne was arrested and booked for 8 counts of 288.3 PC, illegal communication with a minor to facilitate sexual activity.
Both men were released last week on reduced bails of $750,000 each.