Michael Jackson's doctor is reprimanded by California medical board [Updated]
The California medical board has reprimanded Michael Jackson's personal physician for failing to notify Nevada medical board officials that he had fallen behind in his child support payments, echoing a previous reprimand issued against the doctor by the Nevada board last year.
Dr. Conrad Murray failed to notify the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners that his child support payments were in arrears as required when he renewed his medical license in 2007 and 2009, according to the California board’s public letter of reprimand, filed Friday and made public Monday.
The letter noted that Murray’s actions constituted a violation of California law concerning “unprofessional conduct,” grounds for a reprimand.
A public reprimand is a lesser form of discipline doctors can negotiate for minor violations to avoid formal charges.
Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges in connection with Jackson’s death.
Jackson died June 25, 2009, of an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol, which Murray has acknowledged using to treat his insomnia. Murray’s lawyers have suggested Jackson injected or drank a fatal amount of the drug when the physician wasn't looking. Prosecutors contend that Murray violated the standards of medical care by administering the drug improperly and concealing his actions after the singer died.
Murray is still licensed in California, Nevada and Texas, although he faces discipline and restrictions.
Murray’s California medical license, issued in 1991, was suspended by a Los Angeles County judge in January until the end of his criminal case. Texas officials restricted his medical license in April, Nevada officials in June, to bar him from administering propofol and other heavy sedative medications.
Murray’s trial is scheduled to begin March 24 in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
[Update 4:40 pm.: Murray’s Houston-based attorney, Charles Peckham, said he and Murray agreed to the letter of reprimand after negotiations with lawyers representing the medical board.
At the time Murray submitted his Nevada license renewals, Peckham said, he “was in the middle of negotiating a child support settlement” and “didn’t realize he was out of compliance with child support.”
Instead of arguing the point before the medical board, “we agreed to disagree and agreed to a paper reprimand,” Peckham said.
Peckham said Murray’s licenses in Nevada and Texas are still active.]
-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske
Follow Molly Hennessy-Fiske on Twitter @mollyhf.