Watertown daily times police continue investigation of doctor charged with theft of drugs data recovery tools iphone

POTSDAM — village police continue to receive complaints about dr. Richard F. Wessel jr., 59, who was arrested tuesday by potsdam police and charged with five counts of petit larceny and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, all class A misdemeanors.

Dr. Wessel is a cardiologist who works for canton-potsdam hospital at the helen snell cheel medical campus, 49 lawrence ave. When taken into custody tuesday afternoon, dr. Wessel was found in possession of 118 hydrocodone-acetaminophen pills not prescribed to him, village police said. According to records from the north carolina medical board, dr. Wessel had previously been disciplined for two prior incidents, both relating to drug or alcohol use.Medical board

The arrest came following a long-term investigation into the theft of prescription medication from patients at dr.


Wessel’s office at the CPH lawrence avenue campus, police said, and patients are continuing to claim that they had drugs stolen.

Because of this, lt. Ames declined to say how many people alleged that dr. Wessel may have taken drugs from them, saying “it could change tomorrow.”

The office’s medicaid fraud control unit aided in the investigation, according to potsdam police. The state attorney general’s office declined to confirm over the phone if it is prosecuting the case or if additional charges would be brought. The office did not respond to a subsequent email asking for comment.Medical board

Dr. Wessel has a current medical license in new york state, which he obtained in 2014, according to state records posted online, and a current license in north carolina, which he obtained in 1996. He twice surrendered his north carolina license, though, as part of investigations by the medical board, once in 1999 and once in 2004.

According to a decision by the north carolina medical board, in 1999 dr. Wessel drank wine on a friday night while on call. He was paged to come in and install a temporary pacemaker, which he did. When called to the hospital for a second patient, dr. Wessel was ordered to submit a sample of his blood to determine his blood alcohol content.Medical license

“instead of submitting a sample of his own blood, dr. Wessel went to the room of one of his patients in the hospital,” the decision reads. “(he) drew blood from that patient’s intravenous (IV) line without any medical purpose, and submitted this blood sample as his own.”

The medical board decision noted dr. Wessel’s cooperation with the investigation and his remorse over his actions, and also determined that dr. Wessel did not have an alcohol or chemical dependency. Because of this, the board reissued his license to practice medicine with a two-month suspension. It also ordered him to refrain from consuming drugs or alcohol, and submit to chemical testing at the request of the board.Medical license

In 2004, dr. Wessel surrendered his license again as part of another medical board investigation. According to an agreement reached between the board and dr. Wessel, between 2002 and 2004, dr. Wessel wrote prescriptions for xanax and hydrocodone, an opioid, to a patient for whom he had not examined or created a medical record. Dr. Wessel also tested positive for cocaine and hydrocodone.

The board reached a consent agreement with dr. Wessel, indefinitely suspending his medical license and requiring him to submit to drug testing, among other conditions. In 2006, the board agreed to issue him a temporary medical license provided he follow a re-entry program into medicine.Medical board in 2008, he received a full medical license again, and the conditions of the agreement were repealed.

All the actions listed on dr. Wessel’s record were administrative actions taken by the medical board. He had no incidents of malpractice or criminal convictions listed.

A search of the new york department of health database of physician discipline turned up no record of any disciplinary measures against dr. Wessel.

Mr. Ames said the police had reached out to the criminal investigation department of the department of health, and shared information with it.

The department of health press office did not respond to a request for information regarding any potential action the department might take regarding dr.Medical board wessel’s medical license.

Tracy jarvis, director of corporate communications for canton-potsdam hospital, declined to answer a list of questions sent by email, including whether the hospital was aware of dr. Wessel’s record in north carolina when hiring him, whether dr. Wessel will continue working at canton-potsdam hospital, and whether the hospital offers programs for employees struggling with substance abuse.

“please understand that this is a personnel matter and we do not comment on personnel matters,” ms. Jarvis wrote in her emailed reply to the times.

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