Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Carmel on the Case: Doctor Suspended
The state has suspended the license of a South Florida pain clinic doctor. The action comes after the physician was arrested twice on drug charges. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is on the case.
WSVN -- Dr. Steven Brown was first busted by the Broward Sheriff's Office in March. The 45-year-old is accused of trafficking and possession of Oxycodone, after undercover deputies saw him in a convertible with pills.
That prompted a visit to his clinic, Pompano Pain, by the Department of Health at the end of April. While authorities were inspecting his records inside, Dr. Brown was arrested for the second time outside in the clinic parking lot. This time, it was for possession of Oxycodone and another drug.
According to the arrest report, a BSO Deputy saw the doctor in the parking lot "place something small and round in his mouth and swallow."
Keyla Concepcion, BSO: "Knowing that all these people are there conducting an investigation on him, he still just popped a pill right in front of them."
Tom O'Connell, Defense Attorney: "You are innocent, Carmel, until proven guilty."
Tom O'Connell is Dr. Brown's attorney. He says, there are explanations for the circumstances around both arrests.
Tom O'Connell: "I was very surprised. We do find it unusual for this to happen, especially approximately one month after the first arrest. He's adamant about his innocence."
But now, the state surgeon general has suspended Dr. Brown's license.
According to documents from the Department of Health, Dr. Brown prescribed more than 7,000 addictive pills to two patients who do not exist. The report says, he used his relationship with patients "to divert medication for his own use."
The state found, his continued practice "constitutes an immediate, serious danger to the health, safety, or welfare of the public."
Carmel Cafiero: "So, your position is that he does not have a drug problem himself?"
Tom O'Connell: "We are going to defend him. Whether he is evaluated for a drug problem and voluntarily enters a drug treatment program, that is totally up to him."
Carmel Cafiero: "Since that interview, a decision has been made. O'Connell says Dr. Brown is definitely going into rehab."
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