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News of the Day ... In Perspective

11/10/2007

District Attorney asked to investigate Texas Medical Board officials

Formal complaints against Texas Medical Board (TMB) president Roberta Kalafut, D.O., and TMB executive director Don Patrick have been filed with the Travis County District Attorneys office by Steven Hotze, M.D., founder of Texans for Patients’ and Physicians’ Rights.

Dr. Hotze charged that Kalafut has had her husband, Dr. Ed Brandecker, file anonymous complaints against their competitors in Abilene and then used her position of authority at the TMB to assure that disciplinary action was taken. This would appear to violate Section 39.03 of the Texas Penal Code relating to abuse of power as well as the federal anti-racketeering act (RICO).

Attorneys say they will be seeking subpoenas for information from the TMB and would be interviewing a long list of physicians aware of TMB abuses.

Since Kalafut has been on the TMB, nine physicians in direct competition with her have had anonymous complaints filed against them, as have all members of the Medical Executive Committee of the Hendrick Medical Center. The complaints appear to have been initiated by Kalafut and Brandecker.

One of physicians is a former partner of Kalafut and Brandecker, who had to leave Abilene for St. Louis when he quit the practice, owing to a non-compete clause. When learning that the physician planned to return to Abilene a year later, joining Abilene Sports Medicine and Orthopedics, a competing facility, Brandecker wrote him a letter stating: “I suppose had you not considered returning, I would not have given this much additional thought. I would have let bygones be bygones.”

It appears that Kalafut intended to drive her competitors out of business.

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