A chiropractor suspended from practice in Pennsylvania for violatingdrug laws has been charged with stealing prescription medication from a patient at an Arnold clinic.
Cataldo "Kip" Bompiani, 31, of Dallastown, Pa., was charged with one count of theft. Police say he will turn himself in to authorities Monday.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Bompiani denied all charges, but confirmed that he is a recovered drug addict who kicked his habittwo years ago. "The charges are obviously not true," he said. "I didn't steal anything from anybody."
Bompiani is no longer working atthe Yalich Clinic in the 1500 block of Ritchie Highway. He said he agreed to leave the clinic after learning of the allegations in July.
Police started investigating Bompiani last month after a patient accused him of stealing prescription medication she had brought to hisoffice for a checkup. Police said the woman discovered she was missing pills after the first visit, then confirmed it on a follow-up visit three days later.
"She didn't suspect anything when she first went in," said Sgt. John Santana, supervisor of the county police pharmaceutical unit. "But she suspected it the second time. . . . Theft ofprescription medicine by employees is not unusual. This has just a little different twist."
Bompiani was suspended from practicing in Pennsylvania for 10 years, starting Jan. 22, 1990, the day he pleadedguilty to 31 counts of illegally obtaining or possessing prescription drugs from four drugstores near York. He got his Pennsylvania license in December 1984.
He was sentenced Feb. 26, 1990, to six to 23 months in York County prison but was released 20 days later -- March 17 -- on parole.
Maryland officials said they were not aware of Bompiani's conviction until yesterday, when the charges in Anne Arundelbecome public. Suzanne Browne, administrator for the Board of Chiropractic Examiners, said that as of yesterday afternoon, her office hadnot been officially notified.
Browne said all 685 chiropractic licenses are undergoing a routine two-year review. She said Bompiani has applied for a license renewal, but it hasn't been approved. She said the board will investigate the charges.
Bompiani received his Maryland license Dec. 11, 1986. Browne said his last review was in 1989, a year before his conviction, and nothing on his application indicated any problems with drugs or the law.
The renewal forms ask specific questions regarding drug use and legal problems, but Browne, citing confidentiality laws, refused to comment on the content of Bompiani's 1991 renewal form.
The licensing board, which investigates complaints in conjunction with the attorney general's office, could revoke or suspend Bompiani's license. "We review all legal information,"Browne said. "Then we start working and do what has to be done."
Anne Arundel police say Bompiani "appeared to be acting independentlyand there was no indication that he was obtaining any of these substances for resale."
The charge Bompiani faces involves a patient hefirst saw July 10. Police declined to release the woman's name. She told police she had a bottle containing 16 codeine tablets with her when she saw Bompiani.
In the examining room, the woman said, Bompiani asked to see the medication, then took it over to the examining table out of view. The woman said she opened the bottle when she got home and found that only seven tablets remained.
The woman told police she returned to Bompiani's office July 13 for a follow-up visit. She said he told her to bring all her medication so he could see whatshe was taking. The woman said she brought six bottles of medication,but this time counted the pills.
The woman said Bompiani again asked to see the bottles so he could look up the medication in records.After the examination, the woman said she took the bottles into the bathroom and discovered 13 tablets missing from a bottle of Valium.
Police say the woman, who had her daughter with her, confronted Bompiani, "who advised her that he did take the pills and he would give them back to her. He also told her that he was a drug addict and he begged her not to call the police."
In his interview, Bompiani denied asking for the woman's medication. "She brought the medication on her own volition," he said. "The office staff can attest to that."
Bompiani said he never told the woman he was a drug addict. "I wouldnot spread that information around," he said. "It is a past part of my life. I had a drug problem in the past."
He said he did not know why the woman would make the accusations but surmised that she "mayhave known something about my past in York. She is obviously lying, and that will come out in court."
Bompiani said he voluntarily took and passed a drug test after hearing the allegations. But he refused to discuss his drug conviction. "It is really not important," he said. "It is in the past. I would like to leave it there."
Bompiani,engaged to be married, is working as an electrostatic painter. He also said he may reapply for his Pennsylvania license when his suspension is up, "if I'm still in that field. I've done pretty well putting my life back together."