Monday, April 7, 2008

What's YOUR Vet Selling You? (Subtitle: How Vet Boards Cirumvent State Requirements to Revoke Vets License for a Felony of Fraud, Moral Turpitude...

Blink and you'd have missed it. That is what could be said for the Missouri Veterinary Board's revocation of veterinarian Lynn "Nicole" Sutherland Scott's license.

In January, 2006, Scott led guilty to two counts of "Misbranding or Adulterating a Food While Held for Sale" in the US District Court fr the Western District of Missouri. This is a felony offense, and Scott was sentenced to three years probation, a "special assessment" of $200, restitution of $534.75, and a $4,000 fine.

The Board was notified of this in a complaint filed the following November.

In the Board document, it states that:

"Misbrandig or Adulterating a Food While Held for Sale is a crime and essential element of which is dishonesty . . . Misbranding or Adulterating a Food While Held for Sale is a crime involving moral turpitude . . . by pleading guilty to two couts of Misbranding or Adulterating a Food While Held for Sale, [Scott] pled guilty to an offense an essential element of which involves fraud, dishonesty, and involves moral turpitude."

The Board's decision stated that they were STATUTORILY REQUIRED by the State to REVOKE Scott's license as a result of this felony conviction. But apparently, those statutes don't say how long they have to revoke it FOR. So, they added that they placed no restrictions on when she could reapply to have her license back.

This document was signed on February 6th, 2007.

Nine -- that's 9 -- days later, on February 15th, the Board issued an order granting her back a probationary license. In spite of her guilty plea to a felony involving dishonesty, moral turpitude, and fraud, in this document giving her back her license, the Board declared her a person of "good moral character."

So much for protecting our pet's food in the wake of the horrible events last year. Someone pleads guilty to adulterating food, is REQUIRED to have their license revoked by the veterinary board -- the agency responsible for enforcement of the very statute that requires the revocation -- and then the Vet Board turns around and reinstates the license just 9 days later.

So, would you go to a vet that has "misbranded" or "adulterated" food, been "dishonest" and committed "fraud" and crimes of "moral turpitude" involving food she is selling?

Well, if you are willing to do so one thing is for sure: The Missouri Veterinary Board won't stand in your way.