Ex-doctor pleads guilty to distributing Valium

August 03, 1994|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Sun Staff Writer

A former Havre de Grace doctor, who surrendered his state medical license last year amid allegations that he was illegally dispensing prescription drugs, pleaded guilty yesterday in Harford Circuit Court to one count of distributing Valium.

Judge William O. Carr placed the defendant, Edward John Simon, 78, of the 3900 block of Somerset Court, on a year's probation and fined him $5,000.

Simon, who had practiced medicine in Havre de Grace for 51 years, agreed to forfeit his 1991 Cadillac and $5,000 recovered when federal, state and county drug agents raided his office and home Oct. 5.

Prosecutors said the seized items were used to aid his drug distribution.

Undercover drug agents conducted a six-month investigation before raiding his office in the 500 block of Bourbon St. The conviction yesterday stemmed from one of 15 visits by undercover officers to Simon's office.

Prosecutors said that Simon prescribed diazepam, a form of Valium, to the agents without giving any physical examinations or taking their medical histories. The undercover agents paid the standard fee of $20 for an office visit to obtain the prescriptions.

On some occasions, Simon prescribed whatever illegal drug the undercover officers requested without question, they said.

State medical authorities said last fall that Simon had surrendered his medical license to the Maryland Board of Physician Quality Assurance soon after the October raid.

Simon acknowledged that the board had notified him of specific charges and planned to hold a suspension hearing on alleged immoral or unprofessional conduct; solicitation of or profiting from professional patronage; and selling, prescribing, giving away or administering drugs for illegal or illegitimate medical purposes.

In return for yesterday's plea arrangement, prosecutors agreed not to charge Simon with other offenses tied to the investigation.

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