ANNAPOLIS – The Court of Special Appeals said Wednesday that the Board of Chiropractic Examiners was not biased against a doctor they accused of trying to blackmail two of their members with sex.
The court upheld the board’s findings that Bel Air chiropractor Brian Regan billed clients for treatments not provided and let unlicensed employees act as chiropractors.
But the court, noting Regan’s “favorable” performance over the last 2-1/2 years, ordered the board to re-examine its decision to suspend his license and put him on probation.
The board began investigating Regan in 1993 and brought charges against him in 1994 that included improper billing of clients and giving too much responsibility to untrained employees.
The board also claimed in its statement of charges that Regan told two female employees to entice members of the board into sexual acts so he would have something to use against them as they decided his case.
But “the board could not prove” the sex charges, said Eric M. Newman, an attorney for Regan. “They eventually dropped those charges, because it didn’t happen.”
Board members contacted Wednesday declined comment on the case.
The board did find in August 1995 that Deborah Tibbs Tillman, an employee at Regan’s clinic for three years, performed tasks requiring “critical judgment” she had not been trained for.
The board said Tillman, a high school graduate, went from preparing patients for treatment to eventually treating them with ice, heat, ultrasound and electrical stimulation.
It also said that Karen Trotta, a high school graduate with one semester of college, graded muscle strength when examining patients, a task that requires “professional skill and clinical judgement.”
The board ordered that Regan’s license be suspended for two years and that he spend three years on probation.
Regan appealed to Baltimore City Circuit Court, which upheld the board’s decision. He then took his case to the appeals court, arguing that the board’s decision was colored by its belief that he was cooking up a blackmail scheme.
“They displayed an overbearing manner” during a hearing, Regan’s attorneys wrote in his appeal, and “repeatedly engaged in badgering and inappropriately aggressive inquisition of Dr. Regan.”
But Judge James R. Eyler wrote for a three-judge panel of the appeals court that “the general assertions of bias” were not compelling enough to reverse the board’s findings.
“Dr. Regan … does not point to any evidence of actual bias,” he wrote. “He argues generalities and appearances.”
The appeals court also told the board to reconsider the sanctions against Regan, however, noting that his practice has been overseen for over two years by a board-approved mentor.
“To date all the mentor’s findings have been favorable,” Eyler wrote.
Newman had not decided if he would appeal the decision. An attorney for the board could not be reached for comment on the case Wednesday.