Get Rid of This
Medical authorities in Oklahoma spent more than 3 years and $600,000 in an attempt to revoke the license of a doctor accused of performing operations that left patients paralyzed, in perpetual pain – or dead. Many of the charges against the surgeon were serious and deserved careful consideration.
Yet all these efforts abruptly came to nothing after a call from Texas Governor Rick Perry to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. if one report is correct,.
According to one investigative organization, a memo recently found suggests that Perry called Fallin, a fellow Republican, on Dr. Steven Anagnost’s behalf as a favor to a generous campaign donor.
When Fallin’s general counsel, Steve Mullins, met with key staff members at the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision in March 2013, Perry’s intervention was part of the discussion.“He (Mullins) told us that he wasn’t here to interfere with the work of the board but Gov. Fallin didn’t want any more calls from Rick Perry about this, that Gov. Perry said it was a travesty and what would it take to make it go away,” Dr. Eric Frische, the medical board’s medical advisor, later wrote in a memo.
We attempted to discuss the case and express the seriousness of the charges and findings and that it was too far along to just go away. Mr. Mullins then responded that there was concern that this case would result in “some bad law” and the Governor didn’t want that.The memo continues:
The meeting ended and Lyle walked out with Mr. Mullins and discovered that the doctor had a benefactor by the name of Dick Powell who was very wealthy, a significant contributor to Rick Perry and also a surrogate father to the doctor and that he was behind the effort to get rid of this.
Following Mullins departure, the board members discussed the implications of the Mulllin's message and "with reluctance" realized that they had just been told "to try and get rid of the case."
The case against the doctor is a serious one. The Oklahoma Medical board launched its investigation of the doctor in 2010 and eventually filed a complaint accusing him of serious violations involving 23 patients.
The charges also stated that the doctor performed surgeries in which patients died or were paralyzed. In addition, the Medical board investigated claims of the doctor charging for surgeries not performed. Other accusations involved failed surgeries in which Anagnost implanted a spinal device that he was paid to promote.
The Medical Board's investigation ended with the board members voting 4-3 to offered Anagnost a settlement. This agreement allowed Anagnost to keep his license by agreeing to complete a spine fellowship at an accredited facility before reopening his surgical practice. In addition, Anagnost also agreed to pay a $10,000 fine.
Anagnost agreed to reimburse the board $100,000 for legal costs and request a dismissal of his lawsuit against the board. The agreement states Anagnost did not admit fault or wrongdoing.
The surgeon retained his licence and today still practices in Tulsa and other locations in the state.
Conspiracy upon Conspiracy
For his part, Anagnost claims he is a victim of a conspiracy and has launched a lawsuit against four doctors whom he says conspired with the state medical board and a Tulsa hospital to destroy his career with "frivolous" allegations.
Anagnost's suit states the doctors were behind an effort that began in 2009 to file complaints against him with the medical board.
According to the original article, the details of Governor Perry's phone call came to light in a memo which was among thousand of pages of records, gathered by the state and Oklahoma Bar Association.
How much actual influence Perry or Fallin exerted in closing the investigation is unclear.
Governor Perry, whose run for president collapsed earlier this year, is resently facing indictments, unrelated to this allegations. One of indictments is the serious charge of abuse of official capacity, a first-degree felony, The charge carries a potential prison sentence of 5 to 99 years.
For more details about this Perry-Fallin case, click on the link below.