Radecki Believes He was Trustworthy; Prosecution Disagrees

clarion-courthouse1CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – The trial of Thomas Edward Radecki, 70, of Clarion, continued Friday at the Clarion County Courthouse with additional testimony from Radecki.

On Friday morning, Radecki – who is facing more than two dozen felony counts of having inappropriate sexual relationships with female patients and distributing controlled substances – continued his testimony as his attorney, John Troese, asked him about some of his patients, their respective diagnoses, and subsequent treatments.

Radecki said his dropout rate from the program was eight percent, compared with a national average of 62%. He also claimed he never over-prescribed any of the 13 patients that have been discussed during the trial.

Then, it was time for Mark Serge, a deputy attorney from the State Attorney General’s office, to cross-examine Radecki.

Serge questioned Radecki’s trustworthiness and honesty.

“You aren’t very trustworthy are you?” Serge queried.

Radecki replied that he thought he was.

“You deleted medical records,” Serge charged.

“I don’t think it’s dishonest, but a lack of good judgement on my part,” Radecki replied.

Serge then talked about the costs to Radecki’s clients, financial and otherwise.

Radecki estimated he was making $150.00 an hour selling medications to his patients and that it was still the lowest in the area.

“Your patients who came to you had serious problems, addictions, they could die,” Serge said. “These 13 in particular had issues, the disease of addiction. They’d lie about losing their pills or using them up, but you had drug screens, protocols in place to prevent this.”

“You relied on urine tests to see what they were using, but there were other tests to check those results that weren’t used.”

“Yes, there are, but they aren’t cost effective,” Radecki said. “We are practicing medicine, not law, and I care about the cost to my patients.”

Serge questioned why Radecki didn’t do more when he saw traces of cocaine, methamphetamine in some of his patients’ urine screens. RADECKI Thomas

“You should have been doing something,” Serge said. “You aren’t so cheap to people who are unemployed, who are on Medicaid. Nearly $300.00 for urine screens, visits, medication.”

“No,” Radecki responded. “But, I’m the cheapest in this area. I’m like a pharmacy. They don’t give out meds without payment, but I won’t terminate a patient’s care if they can’t pay.”

Serge talked about a patient, Tiffany, who Radecki was treating for a psychiatric disorders.

“You exchanged Suboxone for Vicodin instead of using Acetaminophen,” Serge said. “You traded one addiction for another and that might take 3 to 5 years to get off of.”

Radecki said that was true.

Serge mentioned two patients who were married to each other, Ashley and Dan.

“She was abusing Ritalin, Adderall, and Cocaine, correct?” Serge asked.

Radecki replied that she was. “They are not as bad as opioids, but they can be abused.”

“Her husband was also coming to see you?” Serge continued.

“Yes,” Radecki said.

Serge question whether Radecki was more concerned about his bottom line than he was the health of his patients.

“No,” Radecki replied.

“Retention is one of your main goals, keep ‘em coming, right?” Serge inquired.

“Yes, it’s important for the patient. I’d be happy if they went elsewhere, but it takes time,” answered Radecki.

Serge also touched on the relationships Radecki had with some of his patients, with the former psychiatrist saying it was important to not get too close to patients.

“You’re definitely not allowed to have romantic relationships,” Serge stated. “The erosion of those boundaries, the kissing, the hugging, the groping, the back rubs, you blurred those boundaries and then ignored them entirely with Chelsea.”

Once the prosecution’s cross-examination of Radecki was finished, Troese called two doctors who had worked with Radecki in his maintenance programs.

One was expert witness, Dr. William Santoro of Reading.

Santoro has a family practice and is the chief of addictive medicines at Reading Hospital. He works with addiction cases in outpatient care and also in abstinence-based programs.

“I’ve always had trouble getting notes from psychiatrists and psychologists, but when I do, it’s basic information,” Santoro testified. “You want the patient to feel like they can share everything with their doctor, so it’s understandable. I believe Radecki was very meticulous with his records.”

“I believe it’s okay for patients to have a few extra doses because things happen, snowstorms, illness, cars breaking down.”

“Radecki’s prescription numbers on Suboxone numbered a little on the high side, but they weren’t out of line.”

“Based on the documentation, I believe he went above and beyond in his patient care, and I didn’t see any differences in patients he had relationships with versus ours.”

The trial will resume Monday.

In 2011 and 2012, Radecki was investigated by a number of law enforcement agencies in reference to his prescribing, dispensing, and billing practices while operating four offices, including Suboxone maintenance programs in Clarion, Seneca, DuBois, and Kane.

Suboxone is used to treat addiction to Heroin and other Opiates such as Morphine.

The offices were closed in June 2012 after the State Attorney General’s office investigated Radecki’s practices.

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