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Top public health official in Topeka stepping down over ‘lack of leadership’ fighting coronavirus

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Shawnee County Health Officer Gianfranco Pezzino (Courtesy: Shawnee County Health Department)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – The top public health official in the Topeka area has cited a “lack of leadership” fighting the coronavirus pandemic in his decision to step down.

Shawnee County Health Officer Gianfranco Pezzino announced at Thursday’s commission meeting that he won’t renew his contract at the end of this year.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that the 66-year-old had spent the past 14 years as health officer for the county.

Pezzino also said his physical and mental health played a role in his decision to leave. He will continue his work as a senior fellow for the Kansas Health Institute.

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