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New York doctor's medical license application answer redacted

A New York doctor was accused of stealing medications from patients when he practiced in North Carolina. When he applied for a New York medical license, the form asked if his license had been in the past suspended in another state.

Syracuse.com got a copy of the doctor's application through a Freedom of Information Law request, but his response was redacted by the state Education Department. The news site adds that the department denied its appeal to see the blacked-out response, arguing that it was improperly redacted.

Syracuse.com states that the doctor's medical license was twice suspended in North Carolina, in 1999 and again in 2006.

State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said it would be an "unwarranted invasion of privacy" to allow the news site access to the doctor's statement on his license application form.

The executive director of the State Committee on Open Government said the Education Department is wrong to withhold the information.

"This is basically a consumer protection issue," Robert Freeman said. "We are talking about a licensed professional who has a degree of influence and control over peoples' lives."

The doctor received his New York license back in 2014. A part of that process is a determination if applicants are of good character and a review any misconduct elsewhere.

It should be noted that the 59-year-old physician was arrested three months ago and charged with taking prescription painkillers from patients. Afterwards, he entered a drug treatment facility and then pleaded not guilty.

He's also under investigation for misconduct by the state Board for Professional Medical Conduct and his license has been suspended.

Rehab is certainly one important form of help for physicians in these kinds of circumstances.

Another form of help is available in the counsel of an attorney experienced in both medical license defense and criminal defense. Contact New York City's Rivas Goldstein for more information.

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