Michael Jackson / Conrad Murray in the news > Decision on Jackson doc's license postponed


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8 May 2010

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ent/6995658.html

Decision on Jackson doc's license postponed

 

By KEN RITTER
ASSOCIATED PRESS

May 7, 2010, 8:05PM

LAS VEGAS — A court officer in Las Vegas postponed a decision Friday on whether the doctor accused of administering a fatal dose of anesthetic to pop star Michael Jackson should be allowed to keep practicing medicine in his home state of Nevada.

Dr. Conrad Murray's professional fate rests not with the Nevada state Board of Medical Examiners, but with a ruling in Clark County Family Court.

Clark County Prosecutor Gerard Costantian tried on Friday to persuade a Family Court hearing master to recommend Murray's medical license be suspended because he's almost $16,000 behind in child support to the mother of his 12-year-old son in Santa Clara County, Calif.

The hearing officer, Elliot Yug, set a June 25 hearing date in order to have the results of a May 27 court hearing in Santa Clara, where Murray's lawyer said the woman will formally waive the doctor's past child support debt.

“She's going to forgive the debt because she wants to,” attorney Charles Peckham said.

Murray, who also practiced in Houston, has kept current paying $1,003 a month since November, after appearing before a Family Court judge who expressed surprise but accepted an informal agreement that the woman would forgive his past debt if Murray began paying monthly. The judge at that time set a July 5 hearing to ensure the agreement was working.

Costantian said Friday he filed a request April 1 to go after Murray's medical license after Murray failed to produce a California court order formalizing the debt forgiveness.

Nevada law allows Family Court judges to order suspensions of medical, professional and recreational licenses for nonpayment of child support.

Murray's license to practice medicine in California has been restricted by a judge who arraigned him in February on a felony involuntary manslaughter charge in Jackson's death and allowed him to remain free on $75,000 bail pending trial. A court hearing regarding his California medical license is scheduled for June 14.

Texas medical authorities followed the California judge's order and restricted Murray, 57, a cardiologist, from administering the drug authorities say was responsible for killing Jackson.

His medical license in Nevada is unrestricted, but police and Medical Board officials have said they are aware of the California judge's order.

Jackson, 50, was about to launch a world comeback tour when he died last June after being found unresponsive with Murray at his bedside in a Beverly Hills mansion. Murray had been hired at $150,000 a month to be Jackson's personal physician. He told police he administered the anesthetic propofol to Jackson as a treatment for insomnia.

Murray's lawyers have pleaded with judges to allow Murray to continue to practice medicine so he can pay his bills, including his legal expenses and his child support obligation.



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