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DEA Investigator Faults Santa Fe Doctor

By Jackie Jadrnak
Journal Staff Writer
    Santa Fe physician George Schwartz couldn't account for 2,700 doses of controlled substances in a Drug Enforcement Administration 2002-03 audit, an investigator said Thursday.
    And in a follow-up DEA audit in July, Schwartz tried to answer a question of whether he had any controlled substances on hand by searching through suitcases and duffel bags in his truck, said Michelle Daugherty, a DEA investigator.
    Her testimony came during the first day of a state Medical Board hearing that could end up with Schwartz losing his license to practice medicine.
    He is facing charges that he prescribed inappropriate dosages of narcotics and amphetamines, and that he did not keep adequate records on his patients.
    Schwartz predicted in his opening statement that he would be exonerated of all charges. He contended that most of his patient records were lost when someone stole his safe in June 2004. Others were lost when his computer's hard drive crashed.
    G.T.S. Khalsa, prosecuting attorney in the case, said Schwartz once did good work, but "what we have now is a doctor who can't safely practice medicine."
    This hearing was set more than a month ago, when Schwartz showed up without an attorney representing him. Hearing officer Dr. John Romine rescheduled it, with instructions to Schwartz to appear with an attorney.
    Thursday's hearing began without Schwartz, who showed up about an hour late— without an attorney. Romine ordered the hearing to proceed with Schwartz representing himself.
    In his opening remarks, Schwartz said many of the prescriptions attributed to him actually were forgeries.
    Eloy Aragon, pharmacist and owner of Plaza Drugs in Las Vegas, said he and the other three pharmacists there would call Schwartz and get his approval before filling any prescription that seemed questionable.
    The hearing will continue today.