Next look at Dr. Michael Anthony Lapaglia.
Lapaglia first came to the attention of a medical board in 2002 when he was a psychiatric resident in NC for having an “inappropriate relationship” with an inpatient psychiatric 16 year old female patient. This relationship continued after the patient was released. He also tested positive for marijuana.
The contested charges were eventually dismissed without prejudice in 2005 (3 YEARS LATER), because his resident training license became inactive before the case was adjudicated.
This allowed him to move to another state and apply for a license with a clean record.
He did an emergency medicine residency from 2004-2007 in Hershey, PA
He shows up in Tennessee in 2007 and begins to practice as an emergency physician.
The first the public hears of him is in 2011 when the newspaper reports that Anderson County law enforcement officers have been transporting drug suspects to the ED at Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge (a city in Anderson County). Lapaglia has been doing cavity searches for them without patient consent or a warrant. In at least 3 cases Lapagalia sedated, paralyzed, and intubated these patients without their consent in order to facilitate his drug search.
Lapaglia found drugs in only 1 person. This case went to trial and the courts threw it out as a 4th amendment violation and stated that Lapaglia’s actions “shocked the conscience.”
Two individuals sued Lapaglia, the hospital, Lapaglia’s employer, the county, and others. The suit was settled and the terms of the suit were confidential.
Lapaglia next shows up in the news in 2013 when Knox County law officers are called to his home on a domestic disturbance complaint. His girlfriend reported that Lapaglia had threatened to use his medical knowledge to kill her and dispose of her body.
When officers entered his home, they foundd more than two pounds of high-grade marijuana in various strains; 52 diazepam (Valium) pills; 24 oxycodone pills; 22 amphetamine pills; 11 vials of Xylocaine; seven vials of succinylcholine; two bottles of propofol; two vials each of Marcaine and Lydocaine; and one vial each of bupivacaine, flumazenil, midazolam, fentanyl, and morphine.
Because he was a physician, the DA allowed the medical board to handle his discipline. His license was suspended for 6 months while he received inpatient drug treatment. Then he was allowed to return to practicing medicine. They did restrict him from prescribing controlled substances.
He’s back in the news in November of 2018 when he is arrested for selling prescriptions for a 1 month supply of the controlled substance of your choice for $300. Lapaglia was seeing “patients” at his home, the patients’ homes, MacDonald’s parking lot.
How is this possible, since he no longer had a DEA certificate to prescribe controlled substances? Well his buddy Charles Brooks, MD was giving him blank signed prescriptions. Lapaglia was giving Brooks $150 of the $300 he was making on each prescription.
Dr. Brooks had also been before the Board of Medical Examiners in the past.
Also note that the arrest of Drs. Brooks and Lapaglia occurred at the same time the Vanderbilt made the news.