TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Doctor-turned-congressman fined for sex with patients

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Thursday, May 23, 2013, 6:30 p.m.
 

NASHVILLE — 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 on 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 was in response to two complaints filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, 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 filed an ethics complaint with the 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 drawn two Republican challengers for 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 revealed for the first time that the congressman had agreed when his ex-wife had two abortions.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Poll finds most Americans want health insurance subsidies restored if Supreme Court votes against Obamacare provision
  2. N.D. didn’t inspect pipe before rupture
  3. Ancient Israeli skull hard proof of migration
  4. Police to Waze: Not so fast on cop tracker, which they say makes it harder to catch speeders
  5. Girl’s fatal shooting by Denver officers prompts review of policy
  6. Federal Highway Trust Fund running on empty
  7. Deadly fire in Maryland started in faulty electrical outlet, spread to Christmas tree
  8. Number of children on food stamps hits 6-year high
  9. Prosecutors fight new try to relocate Boston trial
  10. Treasure hunter accused of swindling investors captured
  11. Arkansas rejects proposal to celebrate Gen. Lee, MLK on different days