Dr. Rolando Arafiles Jr., who earlier this month pleaded guilty to misuse of official information and retaliating against two nurses who sent an anonymous complaint about him to the Texas Medical Board, surrendered his Texas medical license Nov. 11, the medical board announced in a news release (PDF).
Texas physician surrenders license after plea
The board will not seek further disciplinary action against Arafiles, who will pay a $5,000 fine and spend 60 days in the Andrew County Jail and five years on probation as part of an agreement with prosecutors, according to the release.
The board had disciplined Arafiles in February, but allowed him to continue practicing. Measures included a $5,000 fine and orders to complete a clinical competency assessment and to undergo any retraining that may be deemed necessary.
In 2009, the nurses said Arafiles endangered patients by treating them with herbal remedies, and also e-mailed patients encouraging them to buy herbal products from him and attempted to use supplies from Winkler County Memorial Hospital, Kermit, Texas, for at-home procedures. In their letter to the board, the nurses—Vickilyn Galle and Anne Marie Mitchell—reportedly referenced specific patient files and were subsequently fired and charged with a third-degree felony misuse of official information with intent to harm Arafiles.
The charge against Galle was dropped just before her case was set to go to trial and Mitchell was acquitted. Both sued Winkler County, and then settled after they agreed to share a $750,000 payment.
In connection to the scandal, Winkler County prosecutor Scott Tidwell was found guilty last month on two felony counts each of retaliation and misuse of official information as well two misdemeanor counts of “official oppression” and sentenced to 120 days in jail and fined $6,000. He is appealing the decision, but has been suspended from his office, according to a news release from the Texas attorney general.
Winkler County Memorial Hospital administrator Stan Wiley pleaded guilty on related charges in March. In June, County Sheriff Robert Roberts was found guilty of the same charges as Tidwell. He was removed from office, sentenced to 100 days in jail and fined $6,000.
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