Karmic Justice for Winkler County Nurse Doctor - page 2

I'm sure most of you remember the Winkler County Nurse fiasco. Well, it appears that the doctor involved in the case was arrested and charged with criminal retaliation and "misuse of official... Read More

  1. by   xcatltc
    150 million plus lifetime health, life, bennies, no , I really dont know, but probably. I am definatly in the wrong profession.:smackingf
    Last edit by xcatltc on Jan 3, '11 : Reason: need to add something
  2. by   classicdame
    wonder if the person who provided the MD the contact info is also in trouble?

    BTW: There already existed a whistleblower law to protect nurses in Texas. This case was the first to be tried under that law and the nurses were acquitted.

    You can read the court transcript at texasnurses.org
  3. by   neon7160
    Complaints to boards of any sort should never, ever be made by anyone other than peers unless there is a chorus. Generally, most state boards are much more attuned to protecting the licensed than patients or people who have to work with them. It is not just medical boards, either. Nursing boards get out of whack, too. The state bars are probably the worst. The trick seems to be the complaint needs to come from someone with the same letters behind their name. I saw a RN report another RN for leaving an acute MI in the hands of an OJT tech while she went outside to wait on an ambulance and the nursing board was all over that. I experienced a doctor turning in a doctor for insufficient supervison of a PA (which was a little questionable) but the medical board got right in the middle of something pretty stupid and had a hearing when it could have been handled by a phone call or nasty letter. Whenever an "outsider" complains they are likely to be punished with counter accusations. The boards are protective orders, first and foremost. I would guess there is an upwards of 90% chance that complaints to a board will result in the accuser being accused. They will look for anything to get their own off. I also don't think they will listen to other boards. In a rural county where I had business some years ago there was a kicked off staff from better places surgeon that the little rural hospital allowed on staff as long as he did no invasive procedures. He was abusive to staff, but what got him was a picture of him in the local paper trying to deck a little league umpire. The board had to act, but the little rural hospital a few miles away was desperate so they took him, but with restrictions. He was a hothead and terrible surgeon. Anyway, he was so boxed in he couldn't functionally practice. Then, he developed quite a robust practice with drug seekers. They were traveling hours just to experience his magical touch of healing. The local pharmacists could tell what was going on and delivered a statistical report and the conclusion would have had more teeth coming from a third grader. The pharmacists sent it to their board who sent it to the medical board....Nuh uh, they did not want any complaints routed through another board. If any of you are from Oklahoma, write me and I will tell you who he is. He packed up in the middle of the night and is there now.
  4. by   MissPiggy
    There's more, folks...

    Winkler officials indicted

    Three charged in connection with whistle-blowing retaliation
    January 13, 2011 9:57 PM

    KERMIT Two Winkler County officials and the former hospital board administrator were indicted Thursday on charges related to the 2009-’10 case of the two whistle-blowing Winkler County nurses, according to court documents obtained by CBS 7.

    County Attorney Scott Tidwell and Sheriff Robert Roberts were indicted by a grand jury on two counts each of third-degree felony misuse of official information and retaliation, and two counts of official oppression, a class A misdemeanor.

    Stan Wiley, who resigned from Winkler County Hospital in October, was indicted on two counts of retaliation.

    The indictments, which come from the Texas attorney general’s office, result from the criminal investigation of nurses Anne Mitchell and Vicki Galle. They were fired from Winkler County Memorial Hospital and were indicted and arrested by local authorities in 2009 in connection with misuse of official information after sending a letter to state medical regulators. The letter outlined concerns including Dr. Rolando G. Arafiles' supposed attempt to use hospital supplies for at-home procedures.

    A representative with the Winkler County Jail said Thursday evening that due to circumstances he’d “been informed of,” all questions about inmates would have to go through the front office in the morning. He did not know if Roberts would be in this morning.

    In December, Dr. Rolando G. Arafiles turned himself in to jail and quickly bonded out on charges of misuse of official information and retaliation. He was also indicted on two counts each Thursday.

    Both nurses were charged after Arafiles asked the sheriff, a friend, to investigate who sent the letter.

    In an arrest affidavit, investigators said Arafiles believed the charges would thwart the board's investigation. But prosecutors dismissed the case against Galle, and Mitchell was acquitted by jury in February 2010. In August, the pair received $750,000 after Winkler County settled a federal civil suit against many of the officials involved.

    In relation to misuse of official information, Arafiles is accused of giving information from the Winkler County hospital to Roberts in order to identify the letter’s anonymous authors. Roberts is accused of getting non-public complaints filed to the Texas Medical Board in order to identify the authors, and giving them to Tidwell.

    Wiley’s retaliation charges are related to the termination of Mitchell’s and Galle’s employment due to their whistle-blowing; the others retaliation charges are related to the misuse of information charge.

    Charges of official oppression against Tidwell and Roberts are related to the accusations they put Galle and Mitchell through “mistreatment, arrest and detention” that the two officials knew was unlawful.
  5. by   TDCHIM
    Oh good! Let's hope the charges stick.

    Thanks for the update, @MissPiggy.
  6. by   Batman25
    That was nice to read. Maybe justice really will prevail here in more ways than one.
  7. by   NRSKarenRN
    Dr. Arafiles Jr got his just rewards for his action in this case:

    Surrendered his license permanently 11/4/2011

    Bad Medicine | The Texas Observer