State strips Morristown dentist of license

State strips Morristown dentist of license

Posted:
Paul Muscari Paul Muscari
"People need to understand. This is not trying to drag somebody down and destroy some body's life. This is about the people of Hamblen County and nearby counties so they don't have to go through what we went through," Polly Booth said. "People need to understand. This is not trying to drag somebody down and destroy some body's life. This is about the people of Hamblen County and nearby counties so they don't have to go through what we went through," Polly Booth said.
"He put me through a lot of pain," Kathleen Evans said. "He just wasn't careful. He didn't care what he done to people. It was like he was money crazy or something, just wanted the money." "He put me through a lot of pain," Kathleen Evans said. "He just wasn't careful. He didn't care what he done to people. It was like he was money crazy or something, just wanted the money."

By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Reporter

MORRISTOWN (WATE) - After a four-year 6 On Your Side investigation and a court hearing, the state of Tennessee says Paul Muscari cannot practice dentistry for the next 20 years.

Administrative Judge J. Randall Lafevor signed an initial order in December recommending that Muscari's license be revoked. The judge also recommended a fine of $36,000 and ordering Muscari to pay all court costs.

Now attorneys for the state say Judge Lafevor's order is final. Muscari's license is revoked.

Two days ago, a patient of Muscari's named Lorene Odegard had an appointment and spoke with him. "He said his hands were tied and he couldn't do anything else," she said.

When asked if he offered to find another dentist for her, Odegard said, "He was going to call them last night and see if they could take care of my teeth."

In Nashville, the state dental board had been expected to consider the case at a hearing on Thursday.

However, that's not necessary because of two recent developments. Twelve days ago, the board denied Muscari's petition to reconsider the judge's initial order.

Also Muscari had until January 21 to appeal the judge's order, but the state says he never filed.

State vs. Dr. Muscari

In the 6 On Your Side series of stories beginning in February 2007, patients revealed how Muscari started their dental work, but never completed it.

Some patients also spoke about taking out loans with a health care credit service called Care Credit to pay him.

The patients complained to Care Credit, but Muscari wrote to the company claiming he had finished the work.

Others patients said Muscari botched their dental care, forcing them to see a second dentist to repair the damage.

A number of patients eventually filed complaints with the state.

In his 39-page order, Judge Lafevor concluded that Muscari's violations are many and substantial. They also occurred while he was on probation from significant earlier violations.

The judge wrote that probation and rehabilitation had failed, and to protect the public, Muscari's license had to be revoked.

In Dandridge, Polly Booth was one of the first patients to file a complaint with the health department.

"People need to understand. This is not trying to drag somebody down and destroy some body's life. This is about the people of Hamblen County and nearby counties so they don't have to go through what we went through," Booth said.

Kathleen Evans, of Morristown, was Muscari's patient for years. "I think people thought he was a good dentist, which he might have been at one time," she said.

"He put me through a lot of pain," Evans added. "He just wasn't careful. He didn't care what he done to people. It was like he was money crazy or something, just wanted the money."

At a hearing in September 2010, Muscari argued that his patients had it wrong. He said all they were after was money, but the judge didn't believe him.

The state says Muscari must now ensure the continued care of his patients by transferring their records to a new dentist.

Revoking Muscari's license is the most severe form of disciplinary action the state can take.

In court documents, Muscari said he's looking to hire a new attorney. This would be his third lawyer in three years.

Under the rules, Muscari can again fight the judge's final order by petitioning the state or taking his case to chancery court.

Powered by WorldNow

1306 N. Broadway NE Knoxville,
Tennessee 37917

Telephone: 865.637.NEWS(6397)
Fax: 865.525.4091
Email: newsroom@wate.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Knoxville, Inc. A Media General Company.