Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

March 18, 2013

State seeks suspension of doctors at Wagoner clinic

By Scott Smith
Kokomo Tribune

Indianapolis — Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed petitions Monday to have four doctors connected with the Wagoner medical clinics in Burlington and Kokomo suspended indefinitely from practice.

Citing an ongoing investigation which “revealed unsafe pharmacological mixes, high prescribing rates for controlled pain medications and numerous patient deaths resulting from multiple drug toxicity,” Zoeller said it was unsafe to allow the doctors to continue practicing.

Named in the petitions are Dr. Don Wagoner, his wife, Dr. Marilyn Wagoner, Dr. Robert Brewer and Dr. William Terpstra.

All four will have a chance to contest the attorney general’s petition at a March 27 meeting of the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana.

Wagoner Medical Center has an office at 821 N. Dixon Road in Kokomo and at 605 E. 7th St. in Burlington.

“Evidence revealed that the practices of these doctors pose a clear danger to their patients and the public,” said Gabrielle Owens, deputy director of the attorney general’s Licensing Enforcement and Homeowner Protection Unit. “These types of aggressive prescribing practices can lead to diversion, abuse and addiction. Our office has worked diligently to bring these actions quickly in order to ensure patients are protected while formal licensing complaints are being completed.”

Petitions for summary suspension of all four doctors, if granted, would bar each of the physicians from practicing medicine for 90 days while the attorney general’s office drafts formal complaints.

According to a press statement released by Zoeller’s office Monday, the licensing board has discretion over medical license suspensions.

Armed with search warrants, officers from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the Kokomo Police Department raided the Burlington and Kokomo clinics Feb. 7, carrying off boxes of documents.

Dennis Wichern, special agent at the DEA’s Indianapolis office, declined to discuss reasons for the raid, citing an ongoing investigation. The probable cause affidavits supporting those search warrants remain sealed.

Scott Smith can be reached at 765-454-8569 or at scott.smith@kokomotribune.com.