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Charges dismissed against Ogden doctor

Published May 14, 2013 8:41 pm

Courts • AG's office: Records problems due to inadequate supervision of staff.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

Criminal charges have been dismissed against an Ogden doctor accused of failing to maintain proper medical records for the medications he was dispensing.

Albert R. Hartman, 63, was originally charged in March in 2nd District Court with four counts of third-degree felony failure to make, keep or furnish records.

But last week, prosecutors amended the charges to one count of class A misdemeanor of attempted failure to make, keep or furnish records, and entered into a diversion agreement with Hartman, in which he paid a $7,500 fee and prosecutors moved to dismiss the case.

Judge Noel Hyde granted the dismissal of criminal charges last Thursday.

Hartman was initially accused of allowing staff members to order and dispense controlled substances from his office, including for personal use. According to court records, among those who received prescriptions were Layton Mayor Stephen Curtis, whose wife worked at Hartman's office.

But according to the diversion agreement, prosecutors with the Utah Attorney General's Office found that while records were kept regarding the controlled substances in question, they were not properly maintained.

Prosecutors said the failure to maintain proper records ceased in May 2012, and were a result of "inadequate supervision of staff."

The case began in September, when 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.

According to court documents, a staff member told investigators that Hartman allowed office staff to order drugs if staff members already had prescriptions from their physicians for the medications.

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 court documents.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller