The Medical Board of California has suspended the license of Dr. R. Scott Hitt, former chairman of the Presidential Advisory Council on AIDS and HIV, for 60 days.
In 2002, Hitt, the first openly gay person to head a presidential advisory committee, was accused by state regulators of sexually molesting two patients at a Beverly Hills medical office.
At that time, Hitt acknowledged having touched one patient's genitals in August 2000 and "crossing a boundary" with one other patient in July of that year, according to the formal accusation filed by the medical board.
The suspension is from April 7 through June 5.
The board also placed Hitt, 44, on seven years' probation, during which he must have a chaperon present while consulting, examining or treating patients.
Hitt's attorney, Patric Hooper of Hooper, Lundy & Bookman Inc. in Los Angeles, called the punishment overly harsh. Hitt, however, is ready to comply and to put the matter behind him, Hooper said.
"I do think the penalty was excessive in this case, but we could not convince the board to impose a lesser one," Hooper said.
At the time of the molestations, Hitt has said, personal struggles with health problems impaired his judgment. He said he had been diagnosed with colon cancer.
While he headed the AIDS panel, a 30-member body that advises the president on how to fight the epidemic, it was an influential board, issuing eight recommendations that President Clinton immediately put into effect.