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Prison psychiatrist paid $800K suspended

SOLEDAD, Calif. (AP) -- A California prison psychiatrist paid more than $800,000 last year has been suspended with pay amid allegations he falsified time records.

The San Jose Mercury News (http://bit.ly/SUPTK8 ) says 54-year-old Mohammad Safi's pay in 2011 included more than $503,000 in on-call pay to make sure he was available to respond quickly to emergencies.

Safi is a supervising senior psychiatrist at a Department of State Hospitals facility within Salinas Valley State Prison in Monterey County. He lives in Newark, about 43 miles from the prison.

His lawyer, Edward Caden, says Safi was forced to volunteer for many on-call shifts when others refused.

Caden says the state didn't to build required housing for doctors to stay overnight at the Soledad facility.

He says his client is a scapegoat for a state-creating staffing crisis.

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Information from: San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, http://www.mercurynews.com

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