Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General

Division of Consumer Affairs
Reni Erdos, Director

For Immediate Release:
December 12, 2003

For Further Information Contact:
Jeff Lamm, Genene Morris
973-504-6327


Medical Board Enters Orders Sanctioning Several Doctors

NEWARK – The New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners has entered orders barring three doctors, facing separate criminal charges ranging from sexual misconduct to illegal weapons possession, from practicing medicine in New Jersey, Attorney General Peter C. Harvey and Consumer Affairs Director Reni Erdos said today.

Two of the doctors facing criminal charges, Farid Noor, M.D., and Fernando Rodriguez, M.D., agreed to voluntarily surrender their licenses pending resolution of the criminal cases against them. The Board temporarily suspended the license of the third practitioner facing criminal charges, Mark Davis, D.P.M., following a hearing.

Noor, a neurologist with practices in Essex and Burlington counties, has been charged with criminal sexual contact; Rodriguez, a Somerset County physician, has been charged with illegal weapons possession; and Davis, an Ocean County podiatric physician, has been charged with attempted murder. Each doctor must refrain from practicing his profession in New Jersey. The orders were entered Wednesday following the filing of separate administrative complaints by the State seeking sanctions against their licenses.

"We are pleased with the Board's decisions relating to these cases," Attorney General Harvey said. "Each case presented troubling allegations that warranted the sanctions imposed."

"The State has an obligation to take decisive enforcement action in the face of such serious allegations in order to protect the public," said First Assistant Attorney General Edward M. Neafsey. "That is why we moved before the Board to suspend the licenses of these doctors."

"These practitioners allegedly engaged in activities that showed no regard for the law, the public, and their victims," Director Erdos said. "The orders filed by the Board in these cases put in place measures that will ensure the public's health, safety and welfare."

In the first case, Dr. Farid Noor, who was indicted by an Essex County Grand Jury on two felony charges of criminal sexual contact with a 30-year-old female patient who sought treatment from the doctor following a motor vehicle accident, entered into an order of voluntary surrender pending the outcome of the criminal case against him. Under the terms of the order, Noor must cease the practice of medicine effective Dec. 31. In the meantime, he must immediately hire a Board-approved chaperone, at his own expense, until his surrender of licensure takes effect. Additionally, he is prohibited from practicing medicine until he hires a chaperone. Noor has maintained practices in South Orange and Medford.

The order comes after the State filed an administrative complaint against Noor, alleging he touched patients in an inappropriate and sexual manner on at least two occasions.

For example, during Noor's treatment of the 30-year-old patient, the neurologist massaged the woman's breasts and groin area even after she repeatedly told him she was having neck and lower back pain only. At one point during the exam, the complaint alleges, Noor asked the patient to bend over and demonstrate how far she could go without bending her knees. When she did so, he pressed his groin area up against her buttocks.

Another patient, a 53-year-old woman, complained that during an examination, Noor allegedly reached into her bra and cupped her breasts although there was no medical justification for doing so, the complaint alleges.

This matter continues under investigation. Anyone with additional information with regard to this case is encouraged to contact the Consumer Affairs' Enforcement Bureau at 973-504-6300 and ask for Investigator Zuccarelli.

Deputy Attorney General Daniel S. Goodman of the Division of Law is handling this case for the State.

In the second case, Dr. Fernando Rodriguez, who has maintained a practice in Princeton, entered into an order of voluntary surrender with the Board to immediately refrain from practicing medicine pending the outcome of the criminal case against him.

Rodriguez is facing charges of illegal weapons possession following a verbal altercation he had in May with three movers regarding the cost of a move from an office he was vacating in Princeton to Belle Mead. During the argument, the State's five-count complaint alleges that Rodriguez pointed a shotgun at the movers and fired it into the ground. No one was injured.

Police later arrested Rodriguez and during a search of the doctor, found a Beretta 9 mm in his pocket as well as loose rounds of a .45 caliber pistol. Police also found a host of weapons in his car, including a Remington 12-gauge shotgun and a loaded Beretta 92 SF 9 mm semiautomatic handgun. The Somerset County indictment against Rodriguez includes six counts charging him with possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, second degree; unlawful possession of a weapon, third degree; and prohibited device, fourth degree.

The State's complaint against Rodriguez also alleges that he lied on his most recent renewal application by answering "no" to the question, "Since your last renewal have you been arrested, charged or convicted of any crime or offense that you have not already charged or convicted of any crime or offense that you have not already reported to the Board/Committee?" The renewal application was filed in July; Rodriguez was arrested in May.

Additionally, the complaint alleges that Rodriguez is in violation of a consent order he entered into with the Board in which he was reprimanded and fined more than $14,000. The order stemmed from allegations that he syphoned patients from methadone clinics to his pain management practice. As part of the order, Rodriguez agreed to permanently cease the practice of pain management and detoxification. Rodriguez has paid only a portion of the fine and has failed to keep up with a payment schedule. In addition, Rodriguez allegedly failed to provide the Board with a report notifying it that his pain management and detoxification patients were referred to other health care providers and, in fact, continued to prescribe methadone for various patients after the practices were to be shut down.

Deputy Attorney General Kathy Stroh Mendoza of the Division of Law is handling this matter for the State.

The third case involves Mark S. Davis, D.P.M. whose license was temporarily suspended by the Board following a hearing on the State's administrative complaint against the podiatrist alleging he devised an elaborate plan to attack a contractor whom he hired to install a $75,000 home entertainment system. In rendering its decision, the Board found that Davis's alleged conduct demonstrated, among other things, professional misconduct and dishonesty. As part of the order, Davis has been given until Jan. 2, 2004, to arrange for the transfer of his patients to other podiatric practices.

In another, unrelated case, the Board imposed a one-year stayed suspension against a Bergen County physician, Jack C. Lee, M.D., who admitted to sending threatening e-mail messages to a pair of reporters, including one stating: "Death shall be imminent." The messages listed the sender as "Yougonna Die [freenj99yahoo.com]". The stayed suspension will be served as a period of probation. The doctor, who testified that he initiated psychotherapy treatment for himself following the incidents, was also ordered by the Board to pay a $10,000 civil penalty and costs. In addition, Lee was ordered to take a Board-approved ethics course and to continue psychotherapy and participation with the Physicians' Health Program.

Deputy Attorney General Joan D. Gelber of the Division of Law handled this matter for the State.

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Posted December 2003