How A Kangaroo Court Does Business
Here is a letter and email chain reflecting how a Kangaroo Court works. A tragedy in four parts:
ACT I: An Invitation to an Execution:
On Jun 15, 2012, at 4:23 PM, "W, Diane" <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Dear Attorney Pattis: > > Attached please find a copy of the summary suspension packet that the Department of Public Health will present before the Connecticut Medical Examining Board (the "Board") for the Board's consideration at their next meeting, scheduled to be held on Tuesday, June 19, 2012 at 1:30 p.m., at the Legislative Office Building, 300 Capitol Avenue, Hartford in Conference Room 1-A, concerning your client Tory Westbrook, MD. > > It is highly recommended that you attend the Board's June 19th meeting regarding the Department's request to summarily suspend your client's license to practice as a physician and surgeon. > > Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter concerning your client's license to practice as a physician in Connecticut. > > Sincerely, > > Diane W > Staff Attorney, Legal Office > Connecticut Department of Public Health >
ACT II: A Request to Die with Dignity From:
Norm Pattis [mailto:[hidden email]] Sent: Friday, June 15, 2012 4:53 PM To: W, Diane Subject: Re: Tory Westbrook, M.D. Summary Suspension Motion D: I just tried to call you to discuss this. I am in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Tuesday am and cannot be back by 1:30. Can this be put over until Wednesday? We object to summary suspension and request an evidentiary hearing. Norm 203.752.XXXX
ACT III: An Unreasonable Refusal:
Norm: Unfortunately this cannot be rescheduled because the monthly meeting of the Connecticut Medical Examining Board is taking place tomorrow. Perhaps another attorney from your firm can attend, or you may file a written objection with the Board in advance of tomorrow's meeting. (That would go to Jeffrey Kardys in the Public Health Hearing Office, with a copy to Matthew Antonetti, Legal Office.) Diane W.
ACT IV: Thank You For Not Caring:
From: Norman Pattis
Sent: Tue, Jun 19, 2012 7:15 am
Subject: Pattis-- Tory Westbrook, M.D. Summary Suspension Motion
Attorney Diane W
Connecticut Department of Public Health
410 Capitol Avenue MS #12LEG
P.O. Box 340308
Hartford, CT 06134
June 19, 2012
re: Tory Westbrook
Dear Attorney W:
I received an email after 4 p.m. on Friday, June 15, notifying ME of the Medical Examining Board's intention to hold a "hearing" regarding whether to summarily suspend Dr. Tory Westbrook at a meeting today at 1:30 p.m. I did not see the email until after the close of business. When I wrote to request a brief postponement as I am required to be in New York at the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on the day the hearing is to take place, I was told the board meets monthly and the hearing must take place. I was invited to send a letter in lieu of appearing.
I am shocked by this lack of professional courtesy by the board and regard this abrupt notice of meeting and reluctance to permit Dr. Westbrook to address the panel through his counsel of choice as a signal that the board has already made up its mind and intends to suspend Dr. Westbrook. Apparently your notice of a hearing is a mere formality.
Dr. Westbrook has apparently been accused of sexual assault by several formal patients. We have yet to see statements from many of these alleged victims. We have had no opportunity to cross examine the witnesses against him. Summarily suspending his medical license on this record deprives him of a property and liberty interest in his license without an effective opportunity to be heard.
I repeat my request that the board continue this hearing until such time as Dr. Westbrook can meaningly appear and defend. To suggest that this would inconvenience the current board speaks more to the qualifications and commitments of the current board than it does about Dr. Westbrook's suitability to practice medicine: Is the board simply too busy to see that justice, even rough justice, is done in this case? Each and every physician on the panel ought to stop to ask themselves whether they would expect more of their peers than a summary endorsement of unchallenged allegations.
I am requesting that this letter and my request for a rescheduling of the hearing take place be read into the record at today’s. I cannot be there. Dr. Westbrook will not be attending without me.
NORMAN A. PATTIS