Former Allegheny Health Department director dies at 74

Updated:

ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. —

Channel 11 News learned Wednesday morning that the former Allegheny Health Department director has died.

The medical examiner said Dr. Bruce Dixon passed away Wednesday morning at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital.  According to the medical examiner Dixon died from a blood infection related to Cholecystitis, which is inflammation of the gall bladder.

Dixon was 74 years old.

Dixon was ousted by newly-elected County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, and had filed a wrongful firing lawsuit over his removal from the post last year. Dixon headed the health department for 20 years but was fired by the county Board of Health in March 2012 at Fitzgerald's urging.

Fitzgerald released a statement Wednesday saying, "For over 20 years, Dr. Bruce Dixon was the ultimate public servant, dedicating his life to serving the needs of the residents of Allegheny County through his direction of the Allegheny County Health Department.  The time and dedication he committed to the Department during his tenure was extensive. While we differed in how the Health Department should move forward, the service he provided was admired and will not be forgotten soon.”

Dixon lived in the Pittsburgh suburb of Forest Hills and became a consultant to the health department in 1979 before he was hired in 1992 by the county, which was then run by a three-member board of commissioners.