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DEA: Ogden doctor dispensed meds without a prescription

Published March 23, 2013 3:42 pm

Charges • Investigators say Layton mayor, others received drugs without prescriptions.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

An Ogden doctor faces charges of failing to maintain proper medical records for the medications he was dispensing, including to Layton Mayor Stephen Curtis.

Albert R. Hartman, 63, was charged earlier this week in 2nd District Court with four counts of failure to make, keep or furnish records. His initial court appearance is scheduled for April 16, and if convicted faces up to five years in prison for each count.

In September, the Drug Enforcement Administration received a letter from a medical supply company indicating it had refused to ship a suspicious order of controlled substances to Hartman, who is an obstetrician and gynecologist at McKay Dee Hospital Center. A month later, DEA investigators found that the doctor's staff had been ordering controlled substances with his permission.

The staff later surrendered hundreds of tablets of Lorazepam, which treats anxiety, and Phentermine, which is used for weight loss, to the investigators, according to a probable cause statement for charges against the doctor.

Hartman admitted to investigators that he'd been allowing staff members to order and dispense the controlled substances from his office, including for their personal use, and that he'd ordered and dispensed Lorazepam to family members, according to the statement.

Besides the doctor and his staff, investigators also interviewed Curtis, because his wife works for Hartman. Curtis admitted to investigators that he had medications from Hartman without a prescription, the statement said.

"Curtis also stated that he had been informed by staff members ... that controlled substances were being distributed," according to the statement. "Curtis indicated that he did not receive a prescription from [Hartman] for the controlled substances he received, and that [Hartman] failed to maintain proper records and illegally dispensed medication."

The probable cause statement does not specify what medications Curtis received from the doctor, although his wife told investigators that she once ordered for herself through the office Diazepam, which treats anxiety and muscle spasms, among other conditions.

A message left with Curtis Saturday seeking comment was not returned.

The chief medical officer of McKay Dee Hospital Center had not received a formal notification of the charges as of Saturday, said hospital spokesman Chris Dallin, declining further comment.

mmcfall@sltrib.comTwitter: @mikeypanda