Friday, December 17, 1999

Heart surgeon resigns over 'inexcusable conduct'

OTTAWA — Renowned Canadian heart surgeon and Conservative Senator Dr. Wilbert Keon resigned abruptly on Wednesday as director general of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.

Keon admitted he tried to solicit an undercover police officer last month who was posing as a prostitute.

Keon told reporters he stopped his car to speak to a prostitute one night in November and she turned out to be a police officer.

He said stepping down from the institute he founded was the right thing to do.

"My conduct was inexcusable. The very fact that I opened myself to such a situation is a signal to me that it's time to step back from my leadership role at the institution," he said with his wife and family by his side.

Keon wasn't charged but he said he attended "john school" as a result of the incident.

Keon performed Canada's first artificial heart transplant. He was appointed to the Senate in 1990, and will not be giving up his seat.

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Created: December 6, 2000
Last modified: January 21, 2001
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