At the beginning of the season of season 8, we find out that Meredith had tampered with a medical trial so Adele, Richard's wife, could get a potential treatment for her Alzheimer's. Her misconduct was discovered and she was fired. Richard did what he felt was right; he takes the fall because he knew Meredith was just trying to help him. She is reinstated as a doctor, but Richard is forced to resign his post. In comes Owen and Seattle Grace has a new Chief.
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