Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Justice in Bubbaville

Do y'all remember that outrageous hospital incident in the small West Texas town of Kermit where two nurses were fired and then criminally indicted for reporting their concerns about incompetent medical care to the Medical Board of Texas?

Two of the three nurses who reported their concerns, Anne Mitchell and Vickilyn Galle, soon became victims of a retaliatory good 'ol boy network when they legally pressed their concerns of a doctor possibly endangering patients at their hospital. Both nurses were indicted for criminal conduct they did not commit. Galle eventually had the charges dropped against her, and Mitchell was quickly acquitted at trial.

Well, the good news is that justice has been served in Bubbaville today.

Robert Roberts, the small town sheriff who was just one of the perpetrators in this case of vindictive and illegal retaliation, was found criminally guilty of six charges by a jury of his peers: two third-degree felony counts of retaliation, two third-degree felony counts of misuse of official information, and two class A misdemeanor counts of official suppression. He's also been judged guilty by many in the healthcare profession as being a class A dumb-ass.

The trial judge has sentenced Roberts to four years felony probation for the two counts each of misuse of official information and retaliation. He's also been sentenced to serve 100 days in jail on each of the four felony counts. Unfortunately, that sentence is ordered to be served concurrently, not consecutively. Roberts will also have to pay a $6,000 fine.

But, the best news for other healthcare professionals working in that county who may be worried about retaliation for putting patient care first, is that as a result of the sentence, Robert Roberts will also be removed as Winkler County Sheriff and will have to surrender his peace officer's license.

The other two perpetrators, Dr. Arafiles and County Attorney Scott Tidwell, were indicted on similar charges and are still awaiting their trials.

6 comments:

  1. Good job with your blog buddy, I like it!

    I remember this this story from a while back. Thanks for reminding me about it. I thought that was the end if it. Good to hear that karma bit this guy on the ass.

    Are you going to follow the other two trials?

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  2. Guzzo.. how's it hanging? Thank you. I couldn't have done it without your help.

    Of course I'm going to watch the trials of the other two perpetrators. I'll post the outcomes as comments to this post. If you ask me, it doesn't look too good for Scott Tidwell, especially with his prior conviction.

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  3. Sounds like he got what was coming to him.

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  4. About time they brought Bubba to justice.

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  5. Here's an update via The Law Med Blog concerning more charges being filed against Dr. Arafiles.

    It's also alleged that he violated HIPAA regulations by giving the names and contact information of ten patients to ex-sheriff Roberts.

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