published Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Medical board fines Rep. Scott DesJarlais for sexual relationships with patients


by Chris Carroll
Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R.-Tenn., exits Judge Jacqueline Bolton's courtroom.
Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R.-Tenn., exits Judge Jacqueline Bolton's courtroom.
Photo by Dan Henry.

WASHINGTON — The Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners has fined U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais $500 for sexual relationships he had with two female patients, state records show.

A seven-page order obtained by the Chattanooga Times Free Press shows the disciplinary panel found DesJarlais violated an “unprofessional conduct” state statute that governs physicians.

The Jasper Republican is required to pay the $500 fine within 60 days. Documents also show the congressman is responsible for up to $1,000 in costs for the state's investigation.

The investigation apparently did not answer every question about DesJarlais' relationships, which the state said occurred sometime between January and May 2000.

“No documentation exists to show whether or not the physician-patient relationship was severed prior to the commencement of a romantic relationship with either female patient,” the board wrote.

The affairs are among several personal revelations that have threatened DesJarlais' political future. Another involved court testimony that showed DesJarlais encouraged his ex-wife to get two abortions. Today, DesJarlais describes himself as "pro-life."

"All life should be cherished and protected," his website says. "We are pro-life."

A DesJarlais spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

For complete details, see tomorrow's Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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