Renowned surgeon charged with beating his wife – again – was stripped of license long ago

10 09 2010

Newspapers reported this week that Michael Brown has been arrested and charged with beating his fourth wife. The arrest was not his first. In 2002 he was charged with beating his third wife – who was pregnant – with a broken bedpost.

A familiar face to TV viewers

You probably recognize Brown. Until his most recent arrest, he was featured in television advertisements for his Brown Hand Centers. Surrounded by his wife and children, he told viewers that “the Brown Hand Center will care for you, just as I care for my own family.”

But he is no longer licensed to practice medicine

Brown has not been licensed to practice medicine in Texas for years. The Texas Medical Board placed him on probation following the criminal charges in 2002 and then in 2006 the Board revoked his license after he tested positive for cocaine.

Interestingly, the website for the Brown Hand Centers states that Brown is “retired” from the practice of medicine. It fails to mention that he could not practice if he wanted to. (One wonders if the Board should do something about that.)

For more details on Brown’s discipline by the Board, go the Board’s website at www. tmb.state.tx.us and click on the tab labeled “Look Up a Licensee.”





The Double Whammy of a criminal conviction

21 06 2010

 

Ways that a criminal conviction can cost you your license

If you are convicted of a crime, jail time or a fine is not all you have to worry about. The state may be able to revoke your professional license too. And the state’s power to do so got stronger in 2009 when the Legislature amended the law.

For most professions, before 2009 the state could revoke a license (or deny the application for one) only if the professional were convicted of an offense that directly related to the duties and responsibilities of the profession. So, for example, the board of accountancy could revoke the license of an accountant for conviction of fraud but probably not for the driving under the influence of alcohol.

Now, however, state agencies have more power. They may revoke (or deny) for conviction of an offense that does not directly relate to the duties and responsibilities of the profession if the offense was committed fewer than five years before the person applied for a license.

Sometimes the state must revoke the license

In the circumstances set forth above, state agencies have discretion to revoke. That is, they can do so if they see fit, but they do not have to do so. But there are other circumstances in which a state agency does not have discretion and must revoke a license. Specifically, the state must revoke in the following circumstances:

• imprisonment following a felony conviction

• felony community service revocation

• revocation of parole; or

• revocation of mandatory supervision

And some professions are governed by different rules altogether

These guidelines apply to most professionals in Texas. But they do not necessarily apply to persons who provide law enforcement or public health, education, or safety services. Generally speaking, those persons are held to even higher standards of conduct. For them, revocation (and denial) is controlled by the specific laws governing their professions.