AP Texas News, September 13, 2010

The chief of Emergency Medical Services in New Orleans said she spoke with top city officials in 2007 before starting a second job with a Texas company that makes a medical device used in the city's ambulances.

Dr. Jullette Saussy told The Times-Picayune she worked part-time for Vidacare for 15 months, primarily teaching emergency room physicians and paramedics how to use the EZ-IO device, a drill-like apparatus that delivers fluids and medications into long bone.

The private sector job paid $90,000 annually — on top of the $180,000 salary Saussy receives from the city of New Orleans.

Within three months of taking the Vidacare post in June 2007, Saussy also bought a house in the Dallas suburb of University Park, records show. And a letter dated the following month by Vidacare's co-founder indicated that Saussy's move would allow her to "devote 100 percent of her time to her duties as medical director."

Saussy said former Mayor Ray Nagin's legal team and his chief administrative officer signed off on her second job.

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