The President and CEO of Southcoast Health is taking a leave of absence following a domestic incident at his home one week ago.

Keith Hovan was arrested by Rochester Police and charged with domestic assault and battery. According to the New Bedford Light, the Southcoast Board of Trustees and Hovan himself issued statements on Friday. Hovan said the allegation has caused an unfair distraction to all associated with Southcoast Health.

"So, for that reason, effective immediately, I am taking a leave of absence," said Hovan. "As we continue to address the greatest public health crisis of our lifetime, Southcoast Health deserves a leader unencumbered by current personal matters."

The board stated that Dr. Rayford Kruger, Southcoast's chief physician executive for the physicians group, will lead Southcoast Health during Hovan's leave of absence.

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New Bedford Light also reported that Hovan also faces additional charges stemming from 40 guns and ammunition found at his home. Police say Hovan will be summoned into court on 83 counts of possessing illegal high-capacity gun magazines/drums.

The weapons charges were filed by Rochester Police after they suspended his license to carry firearms and confiscated weapons he kept at his home. Hovan returns to court on the assault charges on November 24.

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