Joe Dunn steps down as CEO of the California Medical Association

Joe Dunn, an attorney and former state senator representing an Orange County district, said Tuesday he was stepping down as chief executive officer of the California Medical Association, which represents some 35,000 doctors statewide. He also said he hoped to remain with the CMA in some capacity.

Dunn and the CMA declined to comment on his decision. But in an email sent to a number of people in the Capitol, Dunn said he took the step because of family reasons. "I cannot be both an effective CEO and a connected dad while splitting my time between O.C. and Sacramento in addition to all the other necessary travel necessary as CEO," he wrote in the email.

Dunn said, however, that he desired to stay on at the CMA in some capacity. "In fact, it is my hope to remain with the organization in different role to support our new CEO and to continue the important work on behalf of the physicians and patients of California. These discussions already are under way."

Dunn said he intends to remain as CEO until his replacement is chosen by the CMA's board of directors. There was no indication how long that process will take.

Dunn, a Democrat, served two terms in the state Senate before going to the CMA nearly three years ago. During his time in the Senate, he chaired a Senate committee that investigated market manipulation during the 2000-01 meltdown of California's deregulated electricity market.

Dunn had hoped to run for state attorney general, but decided to get out of that race after veteran Democrat Jerry Brown decided to run. Dunn later ran for controller but was defeated in the 2006 primary.

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