Wisconsin doctors face disciplinary action for writing fake notes for protesters

posted at 2:55 pm on April 27, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

The University of Wisconsin has decided to act against doctors in their system that provided fraudulent medical excuses for demonstrators in Madison earlier this year.  The medical school reviewed allegations against 22 of its faculty/staff and will remove them from “leadership positions” and dock their pay:

UW Health doctors who wrote sick notes for protesters at the Capitol in February face penalties up to a loss of pay and leadership positions, the UW School of Medicine and Public Health said Tuesday.

The medical school reviewed 22 UW Health doctors said to have been involved in writing medical excuses for protesters attending rallies over Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposals, according to a medical school statement.

Some of those alleged to have participated were found to be in the clear, according to the statement.  The school will not comment on who specifically got exonerated and who will face disciplinary action, citing privacy reasons.  However, if loss of leadership positions occur, it will be pretty easy to pick out the guilty.

Furthermore, that may not be the end of their woes:

The Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing and the Medical Examining Board are investigating eight people who allegedly wrote notes, the agencies said last week.

The school gave the doctors who did write notes an opportunity to rescind them, which apparently none of those facing discipline did.  The university calls this a “trust” issue, and they’re right.  It’s also a legal and moral issue when one abets fraud against an employer.  Perhaps these doctors’ employer should keep in mind just how anxious these particular employees were to abet that fraud when considering them for leadership roles or choice assignments in the future.

In other Wisconsin news, the recount of the Supreme Court election has begun, and trouble arose again in the controversial Waukesha County ballots, at least briefly:

After more than a half-hour of meticulous instructions and ground rules relayed by Waukesha County’s chief canvasser, retired Judge Robert G. Mawdsley, questions were raised about the very first bag of ballots to be counted, from the Town of Brookfield.

As canvassers and tabulators compared a numbered seal on a bag with the number recorded for that bag by a town election inspector who prepared the paperwork on election night, the numbers didn’t match.

“What a great way to start,” one official tabulator said.

Observers from the campaigns of Justice David Prosser and JoAnne Kloppenburg both agreed, however, that the error seemed to be in the inspector’s use of a “2″ instead of a “3.” Numbers on the sealing tag and on the bag did match. Both sides and the Board of Canvassers agreed that the bag should be opened and the votes counted.

Interestingly, it appears that they are recounting the entire state — by hand.  Earlier, we had heard that the recount would only be limited to counties that use older ballot technology, but today’s report specifies that all 72 counties have initiated their recounts.  They are recounting by hand so that they do not have to zero out the machine counts to re-tally the ballots.  The entire process has a deadline of May 9th, and if they’re counting 1.5 million ballots by hand, they’ll probably need every day of it.


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Kloppy’s wickedness is self-evident. Just look at her face.

andy85719 on April 27, 2011 at 2:58 PM

These doctors get in trouble, but what about the greedy foot and tonsil thieves?!

unlisted on April 27, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Better get those car trunk ballot bags ready, boys!

catmman on April 27, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Licenses should be revoked for five years. Giving phony notes undermines the employer/employee relationship–gives rise to distrust.

andy85719 on April 27, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Interestingly, it appears that they are recounting the entire state — by hand.

This will introduce a new ‘margin of error’ into the process. People make far more mistakes than machines do.

And anyone watching this election has to realize the goal is to recount Milwaukee, which will be the last place counted, until they find enough votes for their selected candidate.

Freddy on April 27, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Other than Bush in 2000, how many Republicans have won these recount things? I’m guessing Kloppenburg eventually wins.

pseudoforce on April 27, 2011 at 3:05 PM

I think someone misunderstood the recount from the beginning. Kloppie asked for a statewide recount (which is dumb, but her perogative), and the Prosser team asked that a hand recount be limited to 31 counties, which I believe was agreed to.

They’re recounting the entire state, but only 31 counties of it by hand.

Vancomycin on April 27, 2011 at 3:05 PM

200 votes lead = Clear victory, let’s move on, no expensive recount needed.

7,300 vote deficit = Suspect results, no clear winner, let’s blow over a million bucks to get basically the same result in the end.

Thing is, even when the recount is done and Kloppenheffer is still the clear loser, she will refuse to concede and lawsuits will commence. She’s a leftist, it’s what they do.

Bishop on April 27, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Everything you need to know about liberals is summed up in these two stories.

1) They are extremely dumb.
2) They love to waste time and money.

tommer74 on April 27, 2011 at 3:07 PM

The voters of Wisconsin should be outraged that the left is wasting time and money on this recount. I hope it blows up in the democrat’s faces in the next election.

As for the bogus doctors, I have more hope in the regulatory and licensing boards’investigations than I do in the UW, as the UW is a festering swamp of political correctness.

xrayiiis on April 27, 2011 at 3:08 PM

I predict Al Franken will win after all ballots are counted.

BadMojo on April 27, 2011 at 3:09 PM

How’s the recount going in Dane County?

forest on April 27, 2011 at 3:11 PM

I hope we’re wrong but… If they’ve found ballots for Al Franken, they will “find” ballots for the Union label.

unlisted on April 27, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Good. Writing notes excusing people from work for illegitimate reasons is fraud and should be treated just as if they had plagiarized something. I’m sure they’re bound by some kind of honor code, aren’t they?

scalleywag on April 27, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Perhaps these doctors’ employer should keep in mind just how anxious these particular employees were to abet that fraud when considering them for leadership roles or choice assignments in the future.

Once Obamacare has been fully enacted, I’m sure the government will take into account these doctors’ actions. They’ll all get appointments, and eventually find a way to make the University of Wisconsin pay for annoying them now.

logis on April 27, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Don’t be surprised to see the headline,Largest Find Of Lost Votes In American Election History.

docflash on April 27, 2011 at 3:20 PM

If the doctors face diciplinary action for what they did how come the teachers that closed school aren’t? I know, unions, unions, unions!
L

letget on April 27, 2011 at 3:21 PM

Everything you need to know about liberals is summed up in these two stories.

1) They are extremely dumb.
2) They love to waste time and money.

#2 should read “They love to waste time and “other peoples” money.

GNPSTL on April 27, 2011 at 3:21 PM

At the very least, they should lose their malpractice coverage…false diagnoses count as malpractice, and these were intentional.

And as someone currently in treatment for service-related anxiety…F-YOU for trivializing my condition.

James on April 27, 2011 at 3:22 PM

It seems Physician heal thyself doesn’t work for with liberal doctors.

Drained Brain on April 27, 2011 at 3:25 PM

I’m sure they’re bound by some kind of honor code, aren’t they?

scalleywag on April 27, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Not only an honor code, but a legal one as well. Anything a physician writes in an official capacity is considered a legal document. Any lies a physician writes is therefore either considered fraud, or in some cases, perjury.

They should face severe penalties, and I don’t just mean losing an “honor” or “prestige” position. The law is very hard on doctors who commit fraud, as it should be.

DrAllecon on April 27, 2011 at 3:26 PM

These people treated giving out excuse notes as if it were some kind of joke. It’s like a slap in the face to people with legitimate illnesses. Hardly the kind of people you want giving you treatment. If they’re doctors, there’s probably a “rate my physician” site somewhere you could post a comment about them.

scalleywag on April 27, 2011 at 3:26 PM

I hope the teachers with phony sick notes are also punished.

disa on April 27, 2011 at 3:34 PM

By the way, I want to lodge a claim against The Won for raising my blood pressure.

disa on April 27, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Interestingly, it appears that they are recounting the entire state — by hand. Earlier, we had heard that the recount would only be limited to counties that use older ballot technology, but today’s report specifies that all 72 counties have initiated their recounts. They are recounting by hand so that they do not have to zero out the machine counts to re-tally the ballots. The entire process has a deadline of May 9th, and if they’re counting 1.5 million ballots by hand, they’ll probably need every day of it.

Further updates and clarifications:

- While 70 of the 72 counties started their recounts on time, the Government Accountability Board reported that Chippewa and Menominee Counties will begin tomorrow morning. Chippewa County received new memory cards for their machines today, while Menominee County had to get materials from the school board in the county/Indian reservation.

- While most of the ballots will be hand-counted because they were paper ballots that were not optically-read, DRE ballots, or ballots cast on Optech Eagle optical-ballot machines (still the dominant optical-ballot machine used in Wisconsin despite its non-compliance with either the 2002 or 2005 voting system standards), not all of the ballots will be hand-counted. Those municipalities that used optical machines other than Optech Eagles will use those for a machine recount.

- Milwaukee County previously reported that it will miss the 5/9 statutory deadline for completion of the recount, which will necessitate GAB going back to a judge to allow an extension of the deadline.

steveegg on April 27, 2011 at 3:40 PM

I expect these ‘doctors’ will be given positions on one of the many hundreds of committees that will make decisions on the implementation of Obamacare, for their dedication to the cause.

slickwillie2001 on April 27, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Other than Bush in 2000, how many Republicans have won these recount things? I’m guessing Kloppenburg eventually wins.

pseudoforce on April 27, 2011 at 3:05 PM

The Republican candidate for Colorado’s Board of Education survived (barely) a 1,121-vote reversal to win by less than 100 votes in 2000. That election (1.53 million votes cast) was of a similar size to the current Wisconsin Supreme Court contest (1.50 million).

steveegg on April 27, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Given the fact that doctors are being held to account for ethics violations, it will be interesting to see if JoAnne Kloppenburg is examined and, if necessary, held to account for the following:

Here is a patently false charge she launched twice during the campaign:

“In a videotaped interview on March 16, 2011, Kloppenburg declared that Prosser had “prejudged matters that are likely to come before the court.”

She repeated the charge in a debate six days later, saying: “I, unlike my opponent, will approach cases with an open mind and without having prejudged the matters that come before the court.” (my emphasis)

When her campaign was challenged over the statements, they came up small:

“We asked Kloppenburg campaign spokeswoman Melissa Mulliken for evidence that Prosser has prejudged matters that are likely to be brought to the high court — more specifically, which matters. Mulliken said there were none. Kloppenburg’s allegation against Prosser, she said, was made as a broader statement.”

None. In other words, it was false. Twice.

Even though Politi-Fact in WISC somehow laughably turned that into a “barely true,” on their meter, it is very obvious that JoAnne Kloppenburg not only demonstrated bad judgment, but also a reckless tendency for making false statements.

And, regarding Kloppenburg’s false charges that Prosser had “prejudged matters that are likely to come before the court,” here is an interesting attorney ethics rule in Wisconsin, at pg. 43:

“SCR 20:8.2 Judicial and legal officials.

(a) A lawyer shall not make a statement that the lawyer knows to be false or with reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge, adjudicatory officer or public legal officer, or of a candidate for election or appointment to judicial or legal office.

(b) A lawyer who is a candidate for judicial office shall comply with the applicable provisions of the code of judicial conduct.”

Trochilus on April 27, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Good. Writing notes excusing people from work for illegitimate reasons is fraud and should be treated just as if they had plagiarized something. I’m sure they’re bound by some kind of honor code, aren’t they?

scalleywag on April 27, 2011 at 3:19 PM

And the persons for whom the notes were written were also commiting fraud, and should be dealt with accordingly. Which is to say, FIRED.

iurockhead on April 27, 2011 at 3:53 PM

They really don’t understand the depth of this “trust issue”.

All of us out here – have to rely on a Doctor’s excuse every now and then to prove to our employers that we were sick. For instance – if I take three sick days in a row – I have to return to work with a written Doctor’s note.

If my employer doesn’t trust the note from the Doctor – then what does he resort to in order to verify that I was genuinely sick. The answer is going to be more Red Tape for me, for all of us.

These so-called “Doctors” screwed us all.

HondaV65 on April 27, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Everything you need to know about liberals is summed up in these two stories.

1) They are extremely dumb.
2) They love to waste time and OTHER PEOPLE’S money.

tommer74 on April 27, 2011 at 3:07 PM

FIFY…

Khun Joe on April 27, 2011 at 4:00 PM

The doctors and those instructors and staff who got the phony excuse notes should be fired outright.

It may seem a little harsh, but in my book if you are not willing to go to jail or die for your cause, then it is time to find another cause.

Compared to these two options, getting canned is a relatively minor punishment.

StubbleSpark on April 27, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Unofficial from the Prosser campaign – Florence County (carried by Prosser by a pre-recount 799-483 margin) completed its recount, and Prosser gained a net +1 vote.

steveegg on April 27, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Milwaukee County previously reported that it will miss the 5/9 statutory deadline for completion of the recount, because they need more time to print and/or find 8,001 more ballots which will necessitate GAB going back to a judge to allow an extension of the deadline.

steveegg on April 27, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Fixed.

Del Dolemonte on April 27, 2011 at 4:45 PM

Did one of them sign Obama’s Birth Certificate?

profitsbeard on April 27, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Fixed.

Del Dolemonte on April 27, 2011 at 4:45 PM

I have a vested interest in either Milwaukee County finishing on time or getting an extension; that’s my vote.

steveegg on April 27, 2011 at 5:10 PM

The Medical board will be the one to take the toughest stand. If they don’t significantly punish, as in suspend their licenses, then they will lose in court the ability to do the same to a doctor who writes fake diagnosis in a Workman’s Comp case.

Equal applications of the rules.

barnone on April 27, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Obviously delaying tactics. If there aren’t phony ballots out there ready to be fed into the recount, then what do they gain by this?

Interesting.

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 27, 2011 at 7:50 PM

What would happen to a “real Cop” who went around writing “bogus” tickets?

What would happen to a “real Cop” who went around “removing” or “fixing” real tickets?

In both cases at a minimum the cop would be fired.

These doctors should at a minimum be fired.

DSchoen on April 27, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Unofficial from the Prosser campaign – Florence County (carried by Prosser by a pre-recount 799-483 margin) completed its recount, and Prosser gained a net +1 vote.

steveegg on April 27, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Sweet! That’s my county :)

qestout on April 28, 2011 at 11:34 AM