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Old 12-23-2010, 09:31 PM
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Default Texas Dr. Accuses Nurses in Retaliation

December 23, 2010
Doctor Arrested in Whistle-Blowing Case

By KEVIN SACK

Texas officials have filed criminal charges against a West Texas physician over accusations that they say he orchestrated against two nurses who had filed a complaint against him with the state medical board.

The physician, Dr. Rolando G. Arafiles Jr., who practices at Winkler County Memorial Hospital in Kermit, Tex., was charged late Tuesday by the state attorney general?s office with retaliation and misuse of official information, the latter being the same charge that was leveled against the nurses. Both of the charges against Dr. Arafiles are third-degree felonies that carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

In a case that alarmed advocates for whistle-blower protections, the two nurses were fired by the hospital and prosecuted in 2009 after anonymously reporting Dr. Arafiles for a variety of surgical and prescribing practices. After learning of the Texas Medical Board investigation, Dr. Arafiles consulted the sheriff in Winkler County, a personal friend, who seized the nurses? computers and found their letter to the board, which included patient case numbers. Kermit, a town of 7,000 people about 400 miles west of Dallas, is the county seat.

The charge against one of the nurses, Vickilyn Galle, was dropped before trial. A jury took less than an hour to acquit the other nurse, Anne Mitchell, in February. The nurses agreed this summer to split a $750,000 financial settlement from the county.

The medical board has already charged Dr. Arafiles, 58, with a number of civil violations related to the substandard care the nurses described. He is accused of suturing a rubber scissor tip to a patient?s finger, using an unapproved olive oil solution on a patient with a highly resistant bacterial infection, failing to diagnose a case of appendicitis and conducting a skin graft without surgical privileges.

Officers with the criminal investigations division of the attorney general?s office arrested Dr. Arafiles in Odessa, Tex., on Tuesday night, said Thomas Kelley, a spokesman for the office. He was freed on $5,000 bail, Mr. Kelley said.

Dr. Arafiles did not respond to a request for comment.
The arrest warrant charged that Dr. Arafiles misused official information by asking a hospital employee to provide contact information for patients whose case numbers were listed in the nurses? complaint. He then provided that information to the sheriff, who contacted the patients as part of his investigation.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/23/us/23nurses.html?_r=1
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:06 PM
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This "doctor" needs to do time for assault & battery, if the charges are true.
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:26 PM
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For once the Nurses are exhonerated and the Doctor (hopefully) will get his butt reamed. He sounds oh so delightful NOT.

He should lose his license for operating with out surgical priv's.
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Old 12-24-2010, 07:17 AM
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Didn't the doc who got "Octomom" pregnant with that litter lose his license?
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Old 12-24-2010, 07:30 AM
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I admire these nurses for having the guts to file a complaint. In addition to the doc. I think the sheriff should also face charges.
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Old 12-24-2010, 08:04 AM
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This case is just one big steenking pile of crap!
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