Washington, D.C. — Today, the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners fined Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN) $500 and issued a reprimand as a result of two complaints filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) alleging that the congressman/doctor had engaged in sexual relationships with two of his patients.
In response to the piteous penalty of $250 per patient, CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan stated, “There are more expensive traffic tickets. Tennessee authorities apparently believe sexual exploitation of women is less serious than speeding.”
CREW filed two complaints against Rep. DesJarlais last fall after it was revealed he had affairs with women he had been treating. Tennessee law strictly prohibits such conduct and possible penalties include restrictions on a physician’s practice, suspension, and revocation of his medical license. No such penalties were imposed on Rep. DesJarlais.
Yesterday, during a House Oversight Committee hearing regarding the IRS scandal, Rep. DesJarlais stated, “What people want to know is who is going to be held accountable and how they’re going to be held accountable.”
Sloan continued, “Accountability begins at home. As we predicted when we filed our complaints, despite the fact that Rep. DesJarlais’s conduct is a clear-cut violation of Tennessee law, state authorities gave him a pass. Let’s hope the Office of Congressional Ethics, which is also considering a complaint against Rep. DesJarlais, takes a dimmer view of his outrageous misconduct.”
Ironically, while offering up this slap on the wrist, the Board of Medical Examiners defends its action as necessary to protect the state’s citizens and preserve public confidence in the integrity of the medical profession. Sloan concluded, “In reality, this decision demonstrates that Tennessee’s ban on sexual exploitation of patients is essentially meaningless. Doctors in the Volunteer State can freely prey on patients with little fear of repercussions.”
More Press Items
CREW and a coalition of reform groups called on Congress to investigate and address both of the scandals at the IRS in order to prevent the same abuses from occurring in the future. Read More ›
May 22, 2013 | 501c Groups, Congress, Federal Agencies, Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Organizations, Common Cause, Public Citizen, The Sunlight Foundation, Supreme Court, Citizens United decision, Press Releases
CREW's lawsuit eeks to compel the IRS to initiate a rulemaking procedure to address serious conflicts between the Tax Code’s requirements for section 501(c)(4) groups and implementing IRS regulations. Read More ›
May 21, 2013 | Lawsuits, 501c Groups, Campaign Finance Reform, Elections, Federal Agencies, Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Governance & Legislation, Citizens United, Legal, Lawsuits, Press Releases
Today, CREW filed a brief in Gill v. Dep’t of the Treasury, responding to the IRS’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit for lack of standing. Read More ›
May 17, 2013 | 501c Groups, Campaign Finance Reform, Elections, Federal Agencies, Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service, Governance & Legislation, Citizens United, Legal, Lawsuits, Press Releases, CREW vs. IRS