Highmark executive fired after being charged with assault

Posted April 23, 2012

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Kenneth Melani, MD, has lost his job as chief executive officer of Highmark, the Pittsburgh-based Blue Shield-affiliated plan, after he allegedly assaulted his mistress’s husband on March 25.

Dr. Melani was charged with assaulting the husband of a Highmark employee with whom he was having an affair. The charges were later dropped, but Dr. Melani was placed on administrative leave March 29 and fired April 1.

A corporate statement said the dismissal was due to “not only the behavior that is alleged to have occurred on March 25, but also the admitted sexual relationship with a junior employee of the company and the conflict and risk to the company associated with that relationship, as well as repeated denials to senior management regarding that relationship. The injuries resulting from Dr. Melani’s gross and willful misconduct include injuries to the Blue Cross Blue Shield brand, the company’s reputation, risk to business partners and financial harm.”

Dr. Melani’s attorney told local news outlets that in exchange for the charges being dropped, the former CEO will undergo counseling.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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