Medical mystery


Tucked away in our paper today was this little story on Temple City Councilman David Capra.

City hall stays quiet on Capra’s condition
By Alfred Lee, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 07/18/2008 12:50:05 AM PDT

(Courtesy)TEMPLE CITY – Residents are raising questions about the medical condition of City Councilman David Capra, who has missed two council meetings this month, but City Hall remains mum about the specifics of Capra’s illness.

No one answered the phone at Capra’s residence. Efforts to reach him at his hospital room were unsuccessful.

Capra was discharged Tuesday from Methodist Hospital of Southern California in Arcadia.

“I am a concerned resident and he is my public official,” Rachel Barbosa said. “Will he be in the right frame of mind to be making decisions?”

On Wednesday, Mayor Cath Wilson said Capra is at home and “doing great,” but she declined to give more details.

“You’d have to ask him,” she said, but also added that since Capra still was recovering, “You don’t want him disturbed.”

Wilson expected Capra to return to the council, but is unsure of a timetable.

(626) 578-6300, Ext. 4496

Federal privacy laws – namely something called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, aka HIPAA – have made it nearly impossible to get health-related information on a patient unless you are designated by that patient to receive the information or you’re their medical provider.

As journalists, that has made reporting a little harder, especially when it comes to checking the condition of crime or accident victims.

In this case, it is clear that some residents are concerned with the councilman’s condition and how it will effect his job on the council.

Do you think the city should release the nature of Capra’s condition? Is it anybody’s business to know?


    PERSONAL MEDICAL INFORMATION SHOULD REMAIN PERSONAL. What is with the lurid obsession about everyone’s personal life issues. What is or is not ailing him is not relevant to anything concerning the city. The only question is will he likely be back before by law the need to declare his seet vacant. Focus on that. NOBODY NEEDS TO KNOW THE DETAILS OF A PERSONS PRIVATE HEALTH ISSUES. GROW UP ASSHOLES.

  • Temple City Resident

    If is no ones business in knowing anyones health issues. That fact that Councilmember Capra is ill is to be respected. There are persons who have nothing better to do than to make an issue about someones health. His ability to think and reason remain in tac as always. There are some medical conditions that take time to heal and require doctor or hospital visits.
    Do not read anything more into what is going on. He is human just like the rest of us. He visits his dentist, doctor, gets hair cuts, shops for groceries and picks up his clothes at the cleaners….just like the rest of us. Totally normal day to day functions that
    WE ALL DO. We need to wish him well and pray for a speedy recovery. He is a great community leader in Temple City. God watch and protect him.

  • El Gato Malo

    He’s got a right to privacy, but his city’s residents have a right to expect him to do his job. If he can’t, he should resign.

    Being a city council member is not the most arduous job in the world. If he couldn’t make it to two consecutive city council meetings due to illness, this means he’s been bedridden for at least two weeks, and quite possibly six weeks. That’s an awful long time to be in bed.

    Of course, if he quit, that could leave him without health insurance, and that could impose a real hardship on his finances.

  • Anonymous

    The allows a certain amount of excused absences for this very type of thing. The law does not require that he hand out his medical records for the whole world to see – not evening being a public official compels that. Gato you certainly live up to your self-declared moniker: you truly are malo.

  • El Gato Malo

    Nobody said the law required the information to be turned over. That’s not the question that was asked, nor was it the issue that’s at hand. Nice attempt to change the subject, though.

    But why don’t you answer the real question: Can the guy do the job? If not, then he owes it to his city to resign.



  • Anonymous

    To Gato:

    I think your the one whose having trouble keeping up. Try reading more slowly. Your rant is premised on the notion that there needs to be some instant outsting of this poor man simply because he has missed a couple of meetings with an excuse absence. My response is that the law allows for a fair amount of time for him to take off for these types of situations. If and when the legal time passes, then we can talk about replacing him. These laws protect everyone Gato, even a shameless scumbag like yourself. Go back to diving in dumpsters.

  • Temple Resident

    I agree with the previous poster. Gato, I don’t know what town you are from but please keep out of Temple City’s business. You style of commenting may pass for political discourse in you town (whereever that is) but in Temple City we deal with our diffences like grown ups.

  • El Gato Malo

    To Temple Resident: All I ask is if the guy can do his job. In return, I have been called a “scumbag” and accused of “diving in dumpsters.” And you yourself say, “I don’t know what town you are from, but please keep out of Temple City’s business.” Is this how grown ups in Temple City communicate? No one is allowed to disagree, and if they do, they should be called names and asked to leave? Facinating.

    To Anonymous: I didn’t say he had to resign. I said if he was unable to perform his job, he should resign. Of couse, since no information about his medical condition has been released, residents are not in any position to know whether or not he IS able to perform his job, nor for how long this situation will continue. It appears you have no problem with making uninformed judgements, but I think some of your fellow TC residents may think otherwise.

    To TC Resident: I don’t wish the man ill and I wish him a speedy recovery. However, as an elected official, a man has certain responsiblities, and that involves surrendering some of your privacy. His constituents have a right to know if he can do the job he was elected for.

  • A TC Resident

    I wish Mayor Pro Tem Capra a speedy recovery. This TC resident would like to know if he will be able to serve the remaining two and a half years of his term. While I agree that medical info should remain private, I also believe that residents should know (soon) if he will come back or resign for medical reasons. He does not have to reveal these medical reasons, but give the City a heads-up so that the Council can fill the void.

  • Other Resident

    To A TC Resident: Thank you for your comment. I hope Gato Malo is listening because that is the right way to raise an issue. Yes, it would be nice if he gave some indication as to whether or not he thinks he will have to step down or not. But as TC Resident rightly points out what is precisely is ailing him is his business and no one elses. I wish him God Speed and speedy recovery and I will pray for him and his family.

  • Yet Another TC Resident

    I don’t care what Dave’s medical issues are, just tell me when he will return to perform the job he was elected to do. Two issues on last week’s council agenda were put on hold until Dave returns. There is also the empty seat on the Planning Commission that sits vacant until Dave returns. I think the citizens of Temple City deserve to know when he is going to return so these issues can be resolved and the business of the council can get back to the normal 3-2 vote.

  • El Gato Malo

    Other Resident: Yeah, I’m still listening. It’s a week later, and there has still been no indication of what’s going on. Am I still a dumpster-diving scumbag for wondering?