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Dr. Patricia McManus named Interim Health Commissioner

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee has a new interim health commissioner. 

Dr. Patricia McManus' appointment to the position was approved Tuesday, February 6 by the Common Council. 

McManus is taking a leave of absence from her role as president of the Black Health Coalition of Wisconsin to serve in the role. 

Dr. McManus repeatedly said Tuesday that in this new role, her loyalty will be to the community, not to the mayor or the Common Council. 

Dr. Patricia McManus stood and took questions from the Milwaukee Common Council for nearly two hours before the vote. 

Her appointment was then approved by a 13-1 vote. 

Ald. Terry Witkowski voted "no" and Ald. Murphy abstained, saying he wished her appointment could be subject first to a public hearing. 

Shortly after the vote, McManus was asked about the problems with the health department that led to Dr. Bevan Baker's resignation. 

She said she believes the department's failure to communicate with the families of lead-poisoned kids was intentional. 

"One year when you have 500 or something letters that don’t go out? Maybe that could happen. 3 years? I’m gonna be very honest. I think that was deliberate. And I’m probably gonna get in trouble for saying that. But that just makes sense to me," said Dr. Patricia McManus, Interim Health Commissioner. 

Immediately following the vote Tuesday, McManus left to meet with Mayor Tom Barrett. 

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