Tag Archives: examiners

DesJarlais Fined $500 for Having Sex With Patients

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a licensed physician, was reprimanded and fined by the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners for having sex with patients before he was elected to Congress, according to documents released Thursday.
The Republican won re-election last year despite revelations he had affairs with patients and once urged one of them to seek an abortion.
He was fined $500 for two counts of unprofessional conduct, and is responsible for up to $1,000 in costs for the panel’s investigation. He did not contest the findings
The ruling comes in response to two complaints filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), which called the penalties “piteous.”
“This decision demonstrates that Tennessee’s ban on sexual exploitation of patients is essentially meaningless,” Melanie Sloan, the group’s executive director, said in a statement. “Doctors in the Volunteer State can freely prey on patients with little fear of repercussions.”
The watchdog group has also filed an ethics complaint in the U.S. House.
DesJarlais did not immediately return a message seeking comment from The Associated Press. But the congressman told The Tennessean newspaper: “I take responsibility for past mistakes and am happy to get this resolved.”
DesJarlais nevertheless called the complaint politically motivated, saying it’s “somewhat ironic” that he had gone without any complaints filed against him in the 20 years he practiced before his election to Congress.
DesJarlais has already drawn two Republican challengers in advance of next year’s primary. State Sen. Jim Tracy and state Rep. Joe Carr have far outraised the incumbent through the first quarter of the year.
During his 2010 and 2012 campaigns, DesJarlais tried to cast doubt on reports of violent behavior and multiple affairs before his divorce was finalized in 2001. But court transcripts released the week after the election showed he admitted to eight affairs, encouraged a lover to get an abortion, which he publicly opposes, and used a gun to intimidate his ex-wife during an argument.
The sworn testimony also revealed for the first time that the congressman had agreed when his ex-wife had two abortions.

Note: The CREW press release is below.

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DesJarlais Has Talked with Health Department Investigators

Embattled U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn., has told a Nashville television station WKRN that state Health Department investigators have already spoken to him about complaints that he had sex with at least two patients, one of whom he urged to get an abortion in 2000.
“You know I have talked to constituents back home and for the most part, people I have talked to have been very supportive, pleased with the job I did in the last Congress,” the congressman told Nashville’s News 2 as he begins his second term.
“We saw a lot of TV both nationally, and certainly here in TN with a lot of politics of personal destruction I think people are ready to focus on the problems at hand.”
All this follows the Tennessee Democratic Party releasing the Pro-Life Congressman’s 2001 divorce transcripts shortly after his November re-election by 12-points over Democrat Eric Stewart.
It showed that while practicing medicine, DesJarlais dated a few patients, urged of one to get an abortion, and consented to an abortion for his then-wife.
DesJarlais has said in “God has forgiven him,” and “has asked constituents and fellow Christians to do the same.”
“I think that as you go through life, we make mistakes, and learn from them,” he said Friday. “We try to move on and be better for it. Sometimes in life, fortunately, we are given second chances.”
The divorce records also drew a medical ethics complaint with the Tennessee Department of Health from the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
“Again, this is a 13 to 14 year old issue and I am working with them in full cooperation,” said DesJarlais.
He was asked if he had recently met with the Tennessee Health Department officials. “Yes, they had some questions and I answered them.”

CREW Amends Ethics Complaint Against DesJarlais

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington responded Wednesday to new allegations against U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, again asking state medical authorities to investigate its ethics complaint against the physician-turned-congressman, reports the Chattanooga TFP.
“Who knows how many more women are out there, wary of coming forward for fear of embarrassment?” CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said in a news release. “If Tennessee expects its doctors to follow the ban on sexual misconduct, the Board of Medical Examiners must take swift action.”
DesJarlais is a Republican running against Democrat Eric Stewart in the 4th District congressional race. On Oct. 12, the watchdog group filed an ethics complaint against DesJarlais after a phone transcript showed the anti-abortion Republican urging an unnamed patient with whom he had an affair to get an abortion in 2000.
CREW’s latest letter comes after a second woman told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that she dated DesJarlais while he was her doctor. She recalled marijuana use between the two and said he prescribed her pain medication on dates at his home.


Note: The CREW news release is below

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AP Story on Tennessee’s Storied Medical Examiners

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The court battle to get records of beleaguered former Knox County medical examiner Sandra Elkins provides another glimpse into Tennessee’s storied history with some of its top death investigators.
Those who work with them say they can’t explain why Tennessee’s has had so many problems with its medical examiners.
Elkins was hospitalized in 2008 after police said she threatened to kill a Knoxville police officer during a confrontation at her home. Her predecessor, Randall Pedigo, pleaded guilty to drugging and molesting young males. Former state medical examiner Dr. Bruce Levy was arrested in Mississippi last year on felony marijuana possession. Before that, the state revoked the medical license of former Metro medical examiner Charles Harlan, concluding he botched several autopsies and was responsible for multiple counts of misconduct.
There have been more problems other medical examiners across the state.

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