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Conrad Murray faces new allegations in license inquiry

The state adds 'gross negligence,' 'repeated negligent acts' and 'incompetence' to the list of accusations submitted to the medical board in the case of Michael Jackson's doctor.

July 12, 2012|By Kate Mather, Los Angeles Times
  • Dr. Conrad Murray, right, is the subject of an investigation that could lead to the revocation of his license.
Dr. Conrad Murray, right, is the subject of an investigation that could… (Al Seib, Los Angeles Times )

Dr. Conrad Murray faces new accusations in an ongoing inquiry that will determine whether officials will revoke the already suspended medical license of the man convicted in the 2009 death of music icon Michael Jackson.

The state attorney general's office, which submitted its first round of accusations to the Medical Board of California in February, has added three allegations to the original complaint, according to papers filed June 27.

In addition to the original filing, which said Murray's license could be revoked because of his criminal conviction and alleged failure to maintain adequate records, Murray is now accused of "gross negligence," "repeated negligent acts" and "incompetence" for the "inappropriate administration of dangerous drugs."

The new accusations will be taken into account at a hearing that has yet to be scheduled, said Jennifer Simoes, a spokeswoman for the medical board.

Murray is "definitely going to contest" the accusations, said attorney Valerie Wass, who is representing the doctor in his appeal of his criminal conviction.

Murray, 59, has not practiced medicine since January 2011, when a Los Angeles County judge barred him from doing so as a condition of his bail. His license expired a month later. Under California law, doctors must renew their medical licenses every two years before they expire. Suspended licenses are eligible for renewal, but licenses that are revoked are not.

On Nov. 7, Murray was convicted of felony involuntary manslaughter in Jackson's death, capping a seven-week trial during which prosecutors accused him of incompetence, saying he abandoned medical judgment by complying with Jackson's repeated requests for a surgical anesthetic to help him sleep.

Witnesses testified that Murray chatted on the phone and sent emails and text messages as Jackson stopped breathing and suffered a heart attack while under the influence of the surgical anesthetic propofol. Murray also delayed calling for help, they said, and lied to paramedics and emergency doctors.

Judge Michael Pastor called Murray a "disgrace to the medical profession" when he handed down a maximum sentence of four years in prison.

Murray, who remains in jail, has appealed the conviction. He has insisted that Jackson sought out the drug as a sleep aid long before Murray became his doctor.

Murray has licenses in Nevada and Texas that have been limited or suspended, online records show. A medical license issued in Hawaii expired in January 2010.

kate.mather@latimes.com

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