|By Dennis Brown
several agencies last week converged on First Care Family Practice at Garrison to seize
patients' records, question workers and patients, and gather information on what some of
the officials called "Questionable practices".
Sheriff Bill Lewis said his office had received complaints from people living near the
clinic, located just south of the AA Highway on Ky. Rt. 1306 in the building that had
housed Hall's Cash and Carry. Deputy Eldon Riffe said the clinic opened nearly a year ago
in the building.
Lewis said the initial complaints were concerning parking problems and vehicles parked
on the highway in front of the clinic.
Lewis said several citations were issued and several vehicles were towed from the area.
He added that complaints continued to come in, on an almost daily basis, that patients
were being "over medicated".
Totals from Kentucky pharmacies indicted that over a 101-day period that the clinic was
open, 46,160 prescriptions for controlled substances were issued involving 4,121 patients.
Lewis added that the figures were from pharmacies in Kentucky only and that when figures
from Ohio and other states were tallied that the totals would be much higher.
Lewis said that in April he contacted the State Attorney General's Office, Special
Investigations Division, and requested assistance in conducting a joint investigation
regarding the nature of Dr. Fortune Williams and his Garrison medical practice.
Lewis said an investigator with the office, Ronald Burgess, was assigned to the case
along with Robert Kelley, an investigator with the Office of State Drug Control.
Dennis Brown/Lewis County
Several vehicles parked at First
Care Family Practice at Garrison left as officials entered the building to serve an
adminstrative subpoena for some patients' records.
Lewis said that over the course of the first phase of the investigation, it was
determined that some 35 patients' records should be more closely scrutinized.
Last Wednesday those officials, along with Eric Tout and Charles Wells of the Kentucky
Board of Medical Licensure, uniformed and plan clothes officers, entered the clinic with
an administrative subpoena to confiscate the records.
In addition to the records, the officials also took several prescriptions that had been
filled out and attached to patients' charts prior to the patients being seen by the doctor
Dennis Brown/Lewis County Herald
Officials from the State Attorney
Genral's Office and Office of State Drug Control removed a box containing some patients'
files at First Care Family Practice at Garrison last week. The records had been seized by
the officials for review.
The parking lot at the clinic was nearly full when officials arrived to
carry out their duties. Nearly all of the vehicles had Scioto County, Ohio, license
plates. Others included Floyd and Boyd Counties in Kentucky with only a few having Lewis
Within minutes of the officials entering the building and positioning themselves
around the facility, nearly all of the waiting patients had dispersed and left in their
Dennis Brown/Lewis County
Sheriff Bill Lewis talks to the
driver of a vehicle at First Care Family Family Practice at Garrison as officials are
inside the building serving an administrative subpoena for some patients' records. Several
members of the news media were also on hand.
Lewis, after checking driver's licenses of some of those on the lot, discovered that
some did not have valid licenses and ordered them to get licensed drivers to retrieve
Others there, including some local residents, said they were there for chronic pain
problems and elected to visit the clinic because it is closer than driving to other
physician's offices several miles away.
No criminal charges were filed against Williams or others last week, although Lewis
said he anticipates there will be several criminal arrests at the conclusion of the