An East Hartford doctor facing charges of sexually assaulting a patient had his medical license revoked and a Glastonbury doctor charged with sexually assaulting female patients had his license summarily suspended by the State Medical Examining Board on Tuesday.
In addition, the medical board revoked the license of a fired Hartford Hospital emergency room doctor, who reported to work after drinking alcohol; suspended the license of a Southbury doctor accused of abusing alcohol and levied a $20,000 fine against a radiologist working at Griffin Hospital in Derby for unauthorized downloading of patient records.
At Tuesday’s meeting, East Hartford Dr. Edwin Njoku’s lawyer requested that the board postpone action against his client until the disposition of the criminal case for sexual assault is resolved. Attorney Richard Brown argued that Njoku couldn’t give his side of the story because anything he said could be used against him in the pending criminal case.
But health department staff attorney David Tilles said that the forensic evidence pointed to Njoku with more than 99 percent certainty as the source of bodily fluids collected from a female patient who said he sexually assaulted her in his office. Police arrested Njoku in January and charged him with sexually assaulting three women.
Medical board members noted that Njoku had several chances to request that the hearing on his suspension be postponed, but didn’t do so. Tilles referred to several legal cases where licensing bodies were permitted to revoke a license while criminal charges were still pending.
Njoku has pleaded not guilty to the charges and maintained his innocence.
In other business, the board voted to:
• Suspend the license of Dr. Tory Westbrook, who is charged with sexually assaulting three female patients at the Community Health Center in Clinton and having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a fourth patient, with whom he is charged with prescribing a controlled substance. Neither Westbrook nor his attorney attended the meeting Tuesday.
• Revoke the license of Dr. John Lynch II, who reported to work in the emergency room of Hartford Hospital on Oct. 5, 2011 after “having a few drinks,” his attorney Sandra Gersten said. Lynch was fired by the hospital. He reportedly failed to complete his treatment programs for excessive use and abuse of alcohol as prescribed, a public health department memorandum said. Lynch failed to conform with the random testing required to participate in a confidential rehabilitation program, the report noted. Lynch wasn’t at the meeting, and Gersten said he had retired to South Carolina and was seeing a psychiatrist.
“I think it is unduly harsh to simply revoke,” she said. “I would respectfully ask that you amend to require [Lynch] to give notice 90 days if he intends to commence practice in Connecticut.” Tilles said the findings were well supported by the evidence and that revoking his license “is not disproportionate to the findings.”
• Reprimand and fine Gerald Micalizzi, a radiologist, $20,000 and place him on probation for six months. Micalizzi admitted to inappropriately downloading records of 339 patients at Griffin Hospital in Derby from his home computer, using other doctors’ names and passwords without their permission. The board ordered Micalizzi to complete, within six months, courses in medical ethics and patient confidentiality laws. In February 2010, Griffin Hospital revoked the Derby resident’s privileges to access the hospital’s “Picture Archiving and Communications System.”
• Suspend the medical license of Michael Ajemian, of Southbury, who, according the health department’s statement of charges, abused alcohol in 2011 to a point where his practice of medicine represents a threat to public health, and attempts over the past few months to monitor him have been unsuccessful.
• Fine Dr. Robban Sica of Trumbull, $7,700 for prescribing the drug Dimercapto Propane Sulfonic Acid (DMPS) to 10 patients in violation of a 2005 consent order with the department. In that order, she agreed not to prescribe DMPS until it was approved for use by the FDA. The board on Tuesday suspended her license for one month and placed her on probation for two years; during that time, she is required to retain, at her expense, the services of a board-certified internal medicine physician monitor who will conduct a quarterly review of all the records of her patients being treated for chronic fatigue.
• Allow Carl Schiano to surrender his medical license. Schiano has moved out of the country, Tilles said. The department had filed a motion for summary suspension of his license after he abandoned his patients and practice. The matter will be reported to a data bank and will be sent to all state licensing authorities throughout the country, he said.
The medical board sent back for further review a case involving Dr. Mary Jane Brackett of Watertown, who allegedly filed a false report of child abuse to the state Department of Children and Families. Brackett, according to a report, falsely phoned DCF and said that a 15-year-old female patient made herself completely naked in front of her father during an examination. The doctor reported that the situation was “a little like incestuous, or not healthy, like a sex slave or some perversion,” according to a report. DCF determined that the doctor had filed a false report. The recommendation was for a $1,000 fine, probation and other corrective measures.