A Shreveport dentist found guilty by the same individuals on the Louisiana State Board of Dentistry who investigated and prosecuted him (accuser, prosecutor and judge—all in a neat little package) has written a letter to Attorney General Jeff Landry questioning the propriety of the state’s defending a private investigator formerly under contract to the board but who may not have carried errors and omission insurance normally required of companies and individuals contracted with the state.
Here is the text of the letter to Landry by C. Ryan Haygood, DDS:
I wanted to bring your attention to the illegal conduct of the Louisiana State Board of Dentistry and its agents that are currently being defended in multiple Louisiana State and federal courts by your office.
Multiple dentists asked Buddy Caldwell’s office to investigate the egregious conduct of the LSBD and its agents over the years, but were ignored. However, Caldwell did choose to have his office defend their members and agents when they were sued for malicious conduct. Your office is currently representing Camp Morrison, Dana Glorioso, Karen Moorhead, and Barry Ogden. The board of dentistry had the legislature change the law after the suit was filed to cover the defense of Morrison, Glorioso, and Moorhead.
Morrison was a state contracted investigator for the board of dentistry who was required (but failed) to have his own insurance coverage; and the other two, Moorhead and Glorioso, were his independent contractors. None of them were ever state employees. All are now claiming coverage through the FARA insurance program designated for state employees. All claim attorney-client privilege with your office, which is providing them with a legal defense through Barbara Melton with The Faircloth Group.
Morrison is currently under investigation by the State Inspector General’s office and is expected to be criminally charged for fraud, perjury, and billing fraud to the state. Many dentists complained for years about his criminal acts, extortion, and harassment techniques. The other two worked for him as undercover investigators without a license, which is a criminal act under Louisiana law. Karen Moorhead also perjured herself under oath.
It is my understanding that the Attorney General’s office cannot, by statute, defend someone who has broken the law. As you might imagine, Buddy Caldwell’s office did no due diligence into the matter before it was quickly passed off to his friends at The Faircloth Group. According to one former board member, Faircloth has billed more than $500,000 for their defense.
Additionally, your office recently undertook the defense of Sam Trinca, Dean Manning, and James Moreau who are members of the board of dentistry, as well as the board of dentistry itself which were all recently named as defendants. It is probable that at least two of these defendants have perjured themselves in relation to this matter. Furthermore, the board of dentistry recently bragged in their August 2015 board meeting that because they were officially named as defendants in this case, they would be saving money since the state would be undertaking their costs of defense. Once again, I don’t believe your office was ever charged with defending criminal conduct in such matters. I ask your office to please examine this role as their attorney.
There was a definite problem with risk management system under Caldwell who worked overtime to keep this case alive. Instead of working to fix the problem so that the state isn’t paying multiple claims for numerous dentists in the future, Caldwell acted as an enabler for improper and unlawful conduct. I ask you to please investigate this matter personally and make a determination to not continue defending this crew. I think if you look at the record, you’ll be as appalled as I am.
Edwards asked to replace LSBD members
At the same time, LouisianaVoice has learned that Gov. John Bel Edwards recently surprised some observers by replacing several longtime members of the Auctioneer Licensing Board after learning of that board’s questionable acts and egregious behavior.
Some dentists, our source said, are now calling on Edwards to do the same for the Louisiana State Board of Dentistry (LSBD), which some, especially dentists, consider one of the most corrupt boards in Louisiana.
Multiple state agencies are currently examining the smoke coming from the Canal Street offices of LSBD. The board is currently being investigated by the Office of the Inspector General, the Attorney General, and the Legislative Auditor pursuant to complaints of corrupt acts and behavior.
In case Governor Edwards needs suggestions on whom to replace first, our source had a couple of suggestions:
- Dean Manning is currently being sued along with other former board members, staff, and agents for his role in a board hearing in which a Louisiana dentist alleges the board participated in criminal conspiracy and unfair trade practices against him by revoking his license to practice in Louisiana. The Louisiana 4th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the board’s decision on grounds that the board general counsel Brian Begue, serving as the “independent counsel,” violated the dentist’s right to due process. The court notes among other things that Begue acted over-zealously to deny the right to a fair hearing by harassing the dentist, openly questioning his integrity on the stand, acting as a de facto prosecutor, as well as judge and jury. Manning did nothing to stop Begue from doing this. In fact, the dentist alleges that Manning actually encouraged the process. In reference to the hearing, a Louisiana 2nd Circuit decision suggests the potential of a corrupted investigation and a strong inference that other members of the board engaged in conduct attributed to the dentist’s local competitor to remove the dentist from the local marketplace. The court goes on to say that if these allegations regarding Dies’ behavior are ultimately proved, “they would strongly suggest that Dr. Dies’ conduct was motivated less by altruistic concern for the public than animus to suppress a competitor. They would also prove that other board members agreed with Dr. Dies to engage in conduct to accomplish these objectives.”
- Ike House was placed on the board of dentistry after he testified as a witness in the same hearing listed above. House testified that one of his long-time patients did not have periodontal disease. The dentist charged by the board for “fraudulent diagnosis of periodontal disease” claims the patient did indeed have a severe level of periodontal disease that was causing loss of bone and periodontal attachment around her teeth. The patient saw the dentist after leaving House’s office for care with the new doctor. She was surprised to hear that she had a severe level of disease and that Dr. House had let her mouth deteriorate under his care. Dr. House was faced with the precarious position of admitting that he was guilty of negligence or testifying against the dentist.
LSBD members need to be well-informed, fair, and just. Most of all, they need to put the law and protecting the public over their own self-interests or that of their friends. It’s time to make some changes at the LSBD.
You have our suggestions on where to start.
Louisiana must do better.
Oh…and let’s replace the director and staff while we’re at it. There should be many great candidates in Baton Rouge from which to choose when the board moves its headquarters to the Capital City.