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Psychiatrist’s license revoked

By Carol Gentry
12/4/2009 © Health News Florida

The Florida Board of Medicine voted unanimously today to revoke the medical license of psychiatrist Emanuel Falcone, who had been working as a senior psychiatrist at Florida State Prison at Raiford until this week, earning $188,000 a year. 

Falcone, 52, resigned when top officials at the Department of Corrections found out from a reporter for the Florida Times Union that his New York license was revoked last year. Authorities there had charged him with taking sexual advantage of a patient who had multiple personality disorder, an adult woman who had numerous childlike "alters." 

Records from that case indicate that Falcone was living in Fort Myers when some of the inappropriate encounters took place. Apparently the complaint against Falcone was filed with New York authorities rather than Florida's.
 
Falcone's attorney, A.S. "Gus" Weekley Jr. of Tampa, argued that his client was well-trained and could be rehabilitated. A psychiatric consultant to the state had written a letter advising that Falcone could practice safely in the male-only prison at Raiford, he noted.

Weekley said it was unfortunate that corrections officials reacted to "a high-profile media circus." Indeed, television cameras recorded the proceedings, an unusual event for an administrative board.

Weekley argued that the board didn't have to revoke Falcone's license just because New York did. But members of the medical board, who are meeting in Orlando, said if Falcone was unacceptable to New York he wasn't acceptable to Florida, either. 

"We may have disdain for prisoners," said Pensacola obstetrician-gynecologist Elizabeth Tucker, "but they're human beings and they deserve good health care."

Weekley, who has been representing doctors in disciplinary cases for 20 years, said, "This is the most unusual case I've seen." He said following the meeting that he doesn't yet know whether his client will appeal the decision to the courts.

Raymond Pomm, medical director of the Florida Physician's Recovery Network and consultant to the Board of Medicine, called the case "bizarre, contorted...and very disturbing."