FOLLOW UP ON THE DASTARDLY DEA
On October 4th, I wrote about "My tribulations with the DEA." Today i am publishing my letter to the Head of the Frederick County Drug Task Force and DEA. I swear to the facts contained in this letter and hope the reader realizes that the DEA and their minions are not really serious about solving the problem of the sale of illegal sale of Opiods. Enjoy the read.
A NON CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATION
TO: Det. Tom Leone
DEA Agent Shields
DATE: 20 August 2010
FROM: Dr. nicola michael Tauraso, MD
SUBJECT: Your Dastardly Treatment of Me
1. You will notice that this is a “non confidential communication” which means just that. Since you and the Maryland Board of Medicine chose to make your one-sided view of my case public, I am forced to do the same. This communication –and all future communications regarding these matters will be published on my Blog: www.drtauraso.com/blog/index.htm -- for everyone to see and evaluate for himself.
2. To begin we must define some terms. This communication is addressed to two individuals. The use of the pronoun “you” refers to both individuals and those members of the Frederick County Drug Task Force and DEA who have conspired to present a biased case against me by concentrating and making public some aspects of my medical practice which may appear negative while completely ignoring and not making public those aspects of my practice which were innovative and designed to solve some of the potential problems of working with patients requiring Opiod medications. We called attention of our efforts to run above board pain management clinic also to the medical board investigators who also chose to completely ignore mentioning these efforts in their presentation of charges against me. The selective inclusion of some aspects of my practice and exclusion of others demonstrate outright bias.
3. Before I begin my narrative, let me begin to emphasize the fact that, contrary to what was portrayed in the newspapers, I have voluntarily not prescribed Oxycontin since 8 June 2010, two months before you and the Medical Board descended upon my office to suspend my license.
a. My lawyer was supposed to communicate this to you, but had not, informing me that he was playing phone tag with you, meanwhile holding on to my retainer – a two months phone tag doing nothing while “Rome burned!”
b. I discontinued using Oxycontin because I wished to help you accomplish something that I thought you wanted – to try to get Oxycontin “off the street.” But Your actions has only proved to me that you are not as interested in getting the illegal sale of Oxycontin on the street as you are trying to shut down a Doctor – the former being just another futile effort, the latter possibly giving you a promotion.
4. My narrative will now begin. You may remember that IT WAS I who first contacted you to set up a meeting late in 2009. At the time, you (Det. Leone) LIED to me when I asked you whether I was under investigation. You told me “no” on the phone – an outright lie as it turned out to be.
a. I was warned by friends that the police do not have to tell you the truth, while they expect you to tell the truth – somewhat of a double standard, don’t you think?
5. When you and DEA agent Shields arrived at the meeting in my office – might I remind you, a meeting for which I asked – I specifically asked both of you if I were under investigation. Shields answered “yes.” Det. Leone did not answer.
6. Previous to the meeting I sent to you a list of about 85 patients I had discharged from my practice because of questionable and some illegal activity – that list now being greater than 185.* I soon discovered that you were not interested in arresting and prosecuting individuals who we had proof that they did illegal things. NEVER ONCE did your office contact me about gathering the evidence we already had of these illegal activities.
a. On one occasion I had a patient who was given a prescription for Opiods. He returned to the office 2 hours later saying that he had discarded the script when he discarded his empty cigarette pack on the highway. I refused to give him another script informing him of our policy of not replacing lost or stolen scripts. One hour later we received an anonymous phone call informing us that this patient was a DEA informer. This patient never returned to our office, essentially confirming that he was not legitimate.
b. This brings up the question about the number of DEA informers who were listed in the Medical Board charges. These individuals were so-called “confidential” informers and I was not afforded the right to know who they were to attempt to corroborate their accusations. All of their testimony was published for the entire world to see. I did not know who they were. I could not refute their testimony. This is the type of “dirty tricks” you have up your sleeve to destroy my credibility. The public should know this. You do not play fair, yet you destroy an individual’s reputation without giving it a second thought.
c. How many individuals did you clandestinely send into my office who did not corroborate your charge that I was not practicing medicine legitimately? Only the negative cases were listed in the charges of the Medical Board. I know that, if we eventually went to court, I would have been able to face my accusers, but short of that, I could not know who they were. You and the Board conspired to present evidence upon which the Board acted without and prior to my appearance before the Board eventually suspending my license and depriving me of the funds necessary to mount a defense. This is the way licensing boards operate. They still have the power of the state and its unlimited resources to prosecute while depriving one of the funds necessary to defend one self. I do not have the money necessary to defend myself, so I am resorting to the only avenue I have to mount a defense – whatever good that will do!
7. My quarrel with you is that you were not interested in following up on the evidence that I had about illegal activities of some of my patients. As I said previously, you never once contacted me about the list of patients I sent to you. Why?
a. We did criminal checks on all patients entering our practice. Many were arrested, but eventually the outcome was that they were not prosecuted. The criminal reports stated that deals were made and they were not prosecuted as a consequence. We are only to assume that they made deals with you in return for a “quid-pro-quo.” You make deals every day with criminals so that you can gain evidence against someone you think to be a greater criminal – in this case me.
8. I had many patients. I assume that they would tell me the truth when I take a history and perform a physical exam. If they lied to me, is that my fault? If they present falsified documents, such as x-rays and MRI’s, am I at fault? When we discovered that some patients were supplying us with forged documents, we notified you BUT YOU MADE NO ATTEMPT TO INVESTIGATE. Why? We had the evidence, but you were not interested. I called for our original meeting. You did not. I was hoping that you might have been interested in stopping the illegal activities. But you were not. Your behavior in these matters is an indictment of what you are all about. The public should know your motives and what you are doing. You are wasting the taxpayers’ money doing what you are not doing.
a. Let me tell you something: you will never solve the so-called “war on drugs!” Why? Have you not learned from prohibition? As long as there is someone willing to buy, there is someone willing to sell. The government has wasted so much money trying to solve this problem and the problem gets worse every day. And you all are treading water.
9. Do you know the personal damage you have done to my patients who had legitimate needs for Opiods? Do you care that many of my patients were forced into withdrawal? You, AND THE MEDICAL BOARD, do not care. Many patients legitimately need Opiods. Who are you to say that they do not? I have the medical degree, but you attempted to tell me how to practice medicine. I do not tell you how to arrest criminals – a job that you are not doing very well. Why should you tell me how to practice medicine?
a. Since you did not have the evidence to prosecute me, you conspired with the Medical Board by supplying them with non-corroborated information to build a case against me. And the Medical Board suspended my license as a result. They do not need to supply court-type evidence – proof.
b. Another aspect of this situation is the fact that pharmaceutical companies manufacturer Oxycontin and Oxycodone – in this case Perdue – but no on is attempting to stop the manufacturing. If individuals are selling these drugs on the street – something you consider illegal --, and as a physician I prescribe an Opiod – something you want to consider illegal --, why do you not also go after the manufacturer? Because they have the money to defend themselves. I do not. If you stop the manufacturing of these Opiods, I could not prescribe, the drugs would not get into the hands of the illegal sellers, and the problem would be solved. But the fact is that these drugs are legal, there is a need for the use of these drugs in selected patients, and you are powerless to do anything about it except to go after the physician.
10. Lastly, although I might be able to forgive you of many things, what I cannot forgive is what you did to ruin my reputation. Since coming to Frederick almost 40 years ago, I contributed much to the community, having been on the boards of the National Foundation, Scott Key Center, and the Group Homes, not to speak of my contribution as Superintendent of the 4-H Horse and Pony Project and the sponsoring of teen dance every Friday and Saturday nights on my property. But I remember what I used to teach my students during my lecturing days for the GoTaCh Center for Health that you can do all the good you can do throughout your life, but make one mistake and the world will turn on you and make you a pariah. Not that I am admitting any mistake. I treated my patients to help alleviate their intractable pain. I would have welcomed an honest review, not a lynching. You have ruined my reputation and some day you will reap what you have sown. The Universe will take care of that
Cc: Charles Smith, States Attorney for Frederick County
Maryland Board of Medicine
Frederick News Post
* A copy of the list of patients discharged from the practice because of cause is sent as an attachment.
nicola michael Tauraso, MD