Steven W. Easley, M.D.; Decision and Order, 26515-26516 [2017-11796]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 108 / Wednesday, June 7, 2017 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Steven W. Easley, M.D.; Decision and Order On December 29, 2016, the Assistant Administrator, Diversion Control Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), issued an Order to Show Cause to Steven W. Easley, M.D. (Registrant), of Madison, Mississippi. The Show Cause Order proposed the revocation of Registrant’s Certificates of Registration, the denial of any applications to renew or modify his registration, and the denial of any applications for any other DEA registration on the ground that he lacks ‘‘state authority to handle controlled substances’’ in Mississippi, the State in which he is registered with the DEA. Order to Show Cause, at 1–2 (citing 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3)). With respect to the Agency’s jurisdiction, the Show Cause Order alleged that Registrant is registered as a practitioner in schedules II through V, pursuant to Certificate of Registration FE2565779, at the address of 409 Tyler Holmes Drive, Winona, Mississippi. Id. at 1. The Order alleged that Registrant is also registered as a practitioner in schedules II through V, pursuant to Certificate of Registration No. FE2882226, at the address of 140 BurkeCalhoun City Road, Calhoun City, Mississippi. Id. The Order also alleged that Registrant is registered as a practitioner in schedules II through V, pursuant to Certificate of Registration No. FE2882062, at the address of 1100 Hwy 16 E, Carthage, Mississippi. Id. The Show Cause Order alleges that all three of these registrations expire on August 31, 2017. Id. As substantive grounds for the proceeding, the Show Cause Order alleged that on March 3, 2016, the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure issued an ‘‘Order of Prohibition, prohibiting [Registrant] from practicing medicine,’’ that the status of Registrant’s ‘‘Mississippi medical license is ‘expired,’’’ and that he is ‘‘currently without authority to practice medicine or handle controlled substances in the State of Mississippi, the [S]tate in which [he is] registered with the DEA.’’ Id. at 2. Thus, based on his ‘‘lack of authority to [dispense] controlled substances in . . . Mississippi,’’ the Order asserted that ‘‘DEA must revoke’’ his registrations. Id. (citing 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3); 21 CFR 1301.37(b)). The Show Cause Order notified Registrant of his right to request a VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:37 Jun 06, 2017 Jkt 241001 hearing on the allegations or to submit a written statement in lieu of a hearing, the procedure for electing either option, and the consequence for failing to elect either option. Id. (citing 21 CFR 1301.43). The Show Cause Order also notified Registrant of his right to submit a corrective action plan. Id. at 2–3. The Government states that on December 30, 2016, ‘‘[p]ersonnel’’ from the Jackson District Office of the New Orleans Field Division personally served the Order to Show Cause on Registrant. Government Request for Final Agency Action (RFFA), at 1–2 (citing Exhibit (GX) 4). Registrant signed a Form DEA–12, Receipt for Cash or Other Items, documenting service of the Order on him. GX 4 (stating ‘‘OTSC Documents’’ for the ‘‘Description of Items’’). On March 14, 2017, the Government forwarded its Request for Final Agency Action and an evidentiary record to my Office. Therein, the Government represents that Registrant has neither requested a hearing nor ‘‘otherwise corresponded or communicated with DEA regarding’’ the Show Cause Order. RFFA, at 2. Based on the Government’s representation and the record, I find that more than 30 days have passed since the Order to Show Cause was served on Registrant, and he has neither requested a hearing nor submitted a written statement in lieu of a hearing. Id. at 2 (citing 21 CFR 1301.43(d)). Accordingly, I find that Registrant has waived his right to a hearing or to submit a written statement and issue this Decision and Order based on relevant evidence submitted by the Government. I make the following findings. Findings of Fact Registrant is a physician who held Mississippi Medical License No. 15463 until it expired on March 3, 2016. GX 5. In addition, the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure issued an Order of Prohibition to Registrant on March 3, 2016. GX 3 at 4. Under the Order, Registrant was ‘‘immediately prohibited from practicing medicine’’ until he undergoes a complete evaluation for impairment at an approved treatment facility ‘‘and thereafter is found capable of returning to the practice of medicine by the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure.’’ Id. Registrant has offered no evidence that such a finding has been made, nor that he otherwise currently has authority to practice medicine or dispense controlled substances under the laws of Mississippi. Based on the above, I find that Registrant does not currently have authority under the laws PO 00000 Frm 00093 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 26515 of Mississippi to dispense controlled substances. Registrant is the holder of three DEA Certificates of Registration, pursuant to which he is authorized to dispense controlled substances in schedules II through V as a practitioner. Pursuant to Registration No. FE2565779, Registrant is authorized to dispense controlled substances at the address of 409 Tyler Holmes Drive, Winona, Mississippi. GX 1 at 1. Pursuant to Registration No. FE2882226, Registrant is authorized to dispense controlled substances at the address of 140 Burke-Calhoun City Road, Calhoun City, Mississippi. Id. at 5. Pursuant to Registration No. FE2882062, Registrant is authorized to dispense controlled substances at the address of 1100 Hwy 16 E, Carthage, Mississippi. Id. at 3. All three registrations expire on August 31, 2017. Id. Discussion Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3), the Attorney General is authorized to suspend or revoke a registration issued under section 823 of Title 21, ‘‘upon a finding that the registrant . . . has had [his] State license . . . suspended [or] revoked . . . by competent State authority and is no longer authorized by State law to engage in the . . . dispensing of controlled substances.’’ With respect to a practitioner, DEA has long held that the possession of authority to dispense controlled substances under the laws of the State in which a practitioner engages in professional practice is a fundamental condition for obtaining and maintaining a registration. See, e.g., James L. Hooper, 76 FR 71371 (2011), pet. for rev. denied, 481 Fed. Appx. 826 (4th Cir. 2012); see also Frederick Marsh Blanton, 43 FR 27616 (1978) (‘‘State authorization to dispense or otherwise handle controlled substances is a prerequisite to the issuance and maintenance of a Federal controlled substances registration.’’). This rule derives from the text of two provisions of the CSA. First, Congress defined ‘‘the term ‘practitioner’ [to] mean[ ] a . . . physician . . . or other person licensed, registered or otherwise permitted, by . . . the jurisdiction in which he practices . . . to distribute, dispense, [or] administer . . . a controlled substance in the course of professional practice.’’ 21 U.S.C. 802(21). Second, in setting the requirements for obtaining a practitioner’s registration, Congress directed that ‘‘[t]he Attorney General shall register practitioners . . . if the applicant is authorized to dispense . . . controlled substances under the laws of the State in which [s]he practices.’’ 21 E:\FR\FM\07JNN1.SGM 07JNN1 26516 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 108 / Wednesday, June 7, 2017 / Notices U.S.C. 823(f). Because Congress has clearly mandated that a practitioner possess state authority in order to be deemed a practitioner under the Act, DEA has held repeatedly that revocation of a practitioner’s registration is the appropriate sanction whenever he is no longer authorized to dispense controlled substances under the laws of the State in which he engages in professional practice. See, e.g., Calvin Ramsey, 76 FR 20034, 20036 (2011); Sheran Arden Yeates, M.D., 71 FR 39130, 39131 (2006); Dominick A. Ricci, 58 FR 51104, 51105 (1993); Bobby Watts, 53 FR 11919, 11920 (1988); Blanton, 43 FR 27616 (1978). Moreover, because ‘‘the controlling question’’ in a proceeding brought under 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3) is whether the holder of a practitioner’s registration ‘‘is currently authorized to handle controlled substances in the [S]tate,’’ Hooper, 76 FR at 71371 (quoting Anne Lazar Thorn, 62 FR 12847, 12848 (1997)), the Agency has also long held that revocation is warranted even where a practitioner has lost his state authority by virtue of the State’s use of summary process and the State has yet to provide a hearing to challenge the suspension. Bourne Pharmacy, 72 FR 18273, 18274 (2007); Wingfield Drugs, 52 FR 27070, 27071 (1987). Thus, it is of no consequence that the Mississippi Board has employed summary process in suspending Registrant’s state license. What is consequential is that Registrant is no longer currently authorized to dispense controlled substances in the State in which he is registered. I will therefore order that his registrations be revoked. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Order Pursuant to the authority vested in me by 21 U.S.C. 824(a), as well as 28 CFR 0.100(b), I order that DEA Certificates of Registration Nos. FE2565779, FE2882226, and FE2882062 issued to Steven W. Easley, M.D., be, and they hereby are, revoked. Pursuant to the authority vested in me by 21 U.S.C. 823(f), I further order that any applications to renew or modify the above registrations be, and they hereby are, denied. This Order is effective immediately.1 Dated: May 30, 2017. Chuck Rosenberg, Acting Administrator. BILLING CODE 4410–09–P 1 For the same reasons that led the Mississippi Board to summarily suspend Registrant’s medical license, I find that the public interest necessitates that this Order be effective immediately. 21 CFR 1316.67. 16:37 Jun 06, 2017 Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. 16–6] Patricia A. Newton, M.D.; Order On review of the record, I noted that the expiration date of Respondent’s Certificate of Registration was October 31, 2016. GX 1. I therefore took official notice of the Agency’s registration records for Respondent to determine if she has filed a renewal application. According to the Agency’s records, Respondent had not filed a renewal application whether timely or not. Accordingly, on May 7, 2017, I issued an order directing the parties to address whether this case is now moot and provided the parties with seven calendar days to file their submissions. Order, at 1 (May 7, 2017). While the Government filed a response to my order, Respondent has not. In its Response, the Government acknowledges that Respondent’s registration has expired and states that ‘‘there is no record of any subsequent renewal application being filed for this registration.’’ Certification of Registration History (May 15, 2017). Noting that there is neither a registration nor an application (whether timely or not) to act upon, the Government moves that this case be declared moot and that the Order to Show Cause be dismissed. Gov. Resp. to Order, at 1 (citing, inter alia, Amy S. Benjamin, 77 FR 72408 (2012); Ronald J. Riegel, 63 FR 67132, 67133 (1998)). There being no showing of any collateral consequence which precludes a finding of mootness, I grant the Government’s motion and dismiss the Order to Show Cause. Dated: May 30, 2017. Chuck Rosenberg, Acting Administrator. [FR Doc. 2017–11798 Filed 6–6–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410–09–P DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Drug Enforcement Administration [Docket No. 17–14] Emmanuel O. Nwaokocha, M.D.; Decision and Order [FR Doc. 2017–11796 Filed 6–6–17; 8:45 am] VerDate Sep<11>2014 DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Jkt 241001 On December 5, 2016, the Assistant Administrator, Diversion Control Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), issued an Order to Show Cause to Emmanuel O. Nwaokocha, M.D. (Respondent), of Harwood Heights, Illinois. The Show PO 00000 Frm 00094 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Cause Order proposed the revocation of Respondent’s DEA Certificate of Registration No. FN5571864 on the ground that he ‘‘do[es] not have authority to handle controlled substances in the State of Illinois, the [S]tate in which [he is] registered with the DEA.’’ Order to Show Cause, at 1 (citing 21 U.S.C. 823(f) and 824(a)(3)). With respect to the Agency’s jurisdiction, the Show Cause Order alleged that Respondent is the holder of Certificate of Registration No. FN5571864, pursuant to which he is authorized to dispense controlled substances as a practitioner in schedules II through V, at the registered address of 4740 N. Harlem Ave., Harwood Heights, Illinois. Id. The Order also alleged that this registration does not expire until October 31, 2018. Id. Regarding the substantive grounds for the proceeding, the Show Cause Order alleged that on March 15, 2016, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Division of Professional Regulation (IDFPR), ‘‘indefinitely suspended [his] license to practice medicine due to [his] conviction for Medicaid fraud,’’ and he is therefore ‘‘without authority to handle controlled substances in the State of Illinois, the [S]tate in which [he is] registered with the DEA.’’ Id. Based on his ‘‘lack of authority to [dispense] controlled substances in . . . Illinois,’’ the Order asserted that ‘‘DEA must revoke’’ his registration. Id. at 2 (citing 21 U.S.C. 823(f) and 824(a)(3)). The Show Cause Order notified Respondent of (1) his right to request a hearing on the allegations or to submit a written statement in lieu of a hearing, (2) the procedure for electing either option, and (3) the consequence for failing to elect either option. Id. (citing 21 CFR 1301.43). The Show Cause Order also notified Respondent of his right to submit a corrective action plan. Id. at 2–3. On December 13, 2016, a Diversion Investigator from the Chicago Field Division personally handed a copy of the Order to Show Cause to the Respondent at his residence located at 9453 Lorel Ave., Skokie, Illinois 60077. Government’s Submission of Evidence and Request for Summary Disposition (hereinafter, Govt. Mot.), Exhibit (hereinafter, GX) 1, at 1. Following service of the Show Cause Order, Respondent requested a hearing on the allegations. The matter was placed on the docket of the Office of Administrative Law Judges and assigned to Chief Administrative Law Judge John J. Mulrooney, II (hereinafter, CALJ). On January 4, 2017, the CALJ ordered the Government to submit evidence to E:\FR\FM\07JNN1.SGM 07JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 108 (Wednesday, June 7, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 26515-26516]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-11796]



[[Page 26515]]

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DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Drug Enforcement Administration


Steven W. Easley, M.D.; Decision and Order

    On December 29, 2016, the Assistant Administrator, Diversion 
Control Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), issued an 
Order to Show Cause to Steven W. Easley, M.D. (Registrant), of Madison, 
Mississippi. The Show Cause Order proposed the revocation of 
Registrant's Certificates of Registration, the denial of any 
applications to renew or modify his registration, and the denial of any 
applications for any other DEA registration on the ground that he lacks 
``state authority to handle controlled substances'' in Mississippi, the 
State in which he is registered with the DEA. Order to Show Cause, at 
1-2 (citing 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3)).
    With respect to the Agency's jurisdiction, the Show Cause Order 
alleged that Registrant is registered as a practitioner in schedules II 
through V, pursuant to Certificate of Registration FE2565779, at the 
address of 409 Tyler Holmes Drive, Winona, Mississippi. Id. at 1. The 
Order alleged that Registrant is also registered as a practitioner in 
schedules II through V, pursuant to Certificate of Registration No. 
FE2882226, at the address of 140 Burke-Calhoun City Road, Calhoun City, 
Mississippi. Id. The Order also alleged that Registrant is registered 
as a practitioner in schedules II through V, pursuant to Certificate of 
Registration No. FE2882062, at the address of 1100 Hwy 16 E, Carthage, 
Mississippi. Id. The Show Cause Order alleges that all three of these 
registrations expire on August 31, 2017. Id.
    As substantive grounds for the proceeding, the Show Cause Order 
alleged that on March 3, 2016, the Mississippi State Board of Medical 
Licensure issued an ``Order of Prohibition, prohibiting [Registrant] 
from practicing medicine,'' that the status of Registrant's 
``Mississippi medical license is `expired,''' and that he is 
``currently without authority to practice medicine or handle controlled 
substances in the State of Mississippi, the [S]tate in which [he is] 
registered with the DEA.'' Id. at 2. Thus, based on his ``lack of 
authority to [dispense] controlled substances in . . . Mississippi,'' 
the Order asserted that ``DEA must revoke'' his registrations. Id. 
(citing 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3); 21 CFR 1301.37(b)).
    The Show Cause Order notified Registrant of his right to request a 
hearing on the allegations or to submit a written statement in lieu of 
a hearing, the procedure for electing either option, and the 
consequence for failing to elect either option. Id. (citing 21 CFR 
1301.43). The Show Cause Order also notified Registrant of his right to 
submit a corrective action plan. Id. at 2-3.
    The Government states that on December 30, 2016, ``[p]ersonnel'' 
from the Jackson District Office of the New Orleans Field Division 
personally served the Order to Show Cause on Registrant. Government 
Request for Final Agency Action (RFFA), at 1-2 (citing Exhibit (GX) 4). 
Registrant signed a Form DEA-12, Receipt for Cash or Other Items, 
documenting service of the Order on him. GX 4 (stating ``OTSC 
Documents'' for the ``Description of Items'').
    On March 14, 2017, the Government forwarded its Request for Final 
Agency Action and an evidentiary record to my Office. Therein, the 
Government represents that Registrant has neither requested a hearing 
nor ``otherwise corresponded or communicated with DEA regarding'' the 
Show Cause Order. RFFA, at 2. Based on the Government's representation 
and the record, I find that more than 30 days have passed since the 
Order to Show Cause was served on Registrant, and he has neither 
requested a hearing nor submitted a written statement in lieu of a 
hearing. Id. at 2 (citing 21 CFR 1301.43(d)). Accordingly, I find that 
Registrant has waived his right to a hearing or to submit a written 
statement and issue this Decision and Order based on relevant evidence 
submitted by the Government. I make the following findings.

Findings of Fact

    Registrant is a physician who held Mississippi Medical License No. 
15463 until it expired on March 3, 2016. GX 5. In addition, the 
Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure issued an Order of 
Prohibition to Registrant on March 3, 2016. GX 3 at 4. Under the Order, 
Registrant was ``immediately prohibited from practicing medicine'' 
until he undergoes a complete evaluation for impairment at an approved 
treatment facility ``and thereafter is found capable of returning to 
the practice of medicine by the Mississippi State Board of Medical 
Licensure.'' Id. Registrant has offered no evidence that such a finding 
has been made, nor that he otherwise currently has authority to 
practice medicine or dispense controlled substances under the laws of 
Mississippi. Based on the above, I find that Registrant does not 
currently have authority under the laws of Mississippi to dispense 
controlled substances.
    Registrant is the holder of three DEA Certificates of Registration, 
pursuant to which he is authorized to dispense controlled substances in 
schedules II through V as a practitioner. Pursuant to Registration No. 
FE2565779, Registrant is authorized to dispense controlled substances 
at the address of 409 Tyler Holmes Drive, Winona, Mississippi. GX 1 at 
1. Pursuant to Registration No. FE2882226, Registrant is authorized to 
dispense controlled substances at the address of 140 Burke-Calhoun City 
Road, Calhoun City, Mississippi. Id. at 5. Pursuant to Registration No. 
FE2882062, Registrant is authorized to dispense controlled substances 
at the address of 1100 Hwy 16 E, Carthage, Mississippi. Id. at 3. All 
three registrations expire on August 31, 2017. Id.

Discussion

    Pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3), the Attorney General is authorized 
to suspend or revoke a registration issued under section 823 of Title 
21, ``upon a finding that the registrant . . . has had [his] State 
license . . . suspended [or] revoked . . . by competent State authority 
and is no longer authorized by State law to engage in the . . . 
dispensing of controlled substances.'' With respect to a practitioner, 
DEA has long held that the possession of authority to dispense 
controlled substances under the laws of the State in which a 
practitioner engages in professional practice is a fundamental 
condition for obtaining and maintaining a registration. See, e.g., 
James L. Hooper, 76 FR 71371 (2011), pet. for rev. denied, 481 Fed. 
Appx. 826 (4th Cir. 2012); see also Frederick Marsh Blanton, 43 FR 
27616 (1978) (``State authorization to dispense or otherwise handle 
controlled substances is a prerequisite to the issuance and maintenance 
of a Federal controlled substances registration.'').
    This rule derives from the text of two provisions of the CSA. 
First, Congress defined ``the term `practitioner' [to] mean[ ] a . . . 
physician . . . or other person licensed, registered or otherwise 
permitted, by . . . the jurisdiction in which he practices . . . to 
distribute, dispense, [or] administer . . . a controlled substance in 
the course of professional practice.'' 21 U.S.C. 802(21). Second, in 
setting the requirements for obtaining a practitioner's registration, 
Congress directed that ``[t]he Attorney General shall register 
practitioners . . . if the applicant is authorized to dispense . . . 
controlled substances under the laws of the State in which [s]he 
practices.'' 21

[[Page 26516]]

U.S.C. 823(f). Because Congress has clearly mandated that a 
practitioner possess state authority in order to be deemed a 
practitioner under the Act, DEA has held repeatedly that revocation of 
a practitioner's registration is the appropriate sanction whenever he 
is no longer authorized to dispense controlled substances under the 
laws of the State in which he engages in professional practice. See, 
e.g., Calvin Ramsey, 76 FR 20034, 20036 (2011); Sheran Arden Yeates, 
M.D., 71 FR 39130, 39131 (2006); Dominick A. Ricci, 58 FR 51104, 51105 
(1993); Bobby Watts, 53 FR 11919, 11920 (1988); Blanton, 43 FR 27616 
(1978).
    Moreover, because ``the controlling question'' in a proceeding 
brought under 21 U.S.C. 824(a)(3) is whether the holder of a 
practitioner's registration ``is currently authorized to handle 
controlled substances in the [S]tate,'' Hooper, 76 FR at 71371 (quoting 
Anne Lazar Thorn, 62 FR 12847, 12848 (1997)), the Agency has also long 
held that revocation is warranted even where a practitioner has lost 
his state authority by virtue of the State's use of summary process and 
the State has yet to provide a hearing to challenge the suspension. 
Bourne Pharmacy, 72 FR 18273, 18274 (2007); Wingfield Drugs, 52 FR 
27070, 27071 (1987). Thus, it is of no consequence that the Mississippi 
Board has employed summary process in suspending Registrant's state 
license. What is consequential is that Registrant is no longer 
currently authorized to dispense controlled substances in the State in 
which he is registered. I will therefore order that his registrations 
be revoked.

Order

    Pursuant to the authority vested in me by 21 U.S.C. 824(a), as well 
as 28 CFR 0.100(b), I order that DEA Certificates of Registration Nos. 
FE2565779, FE2882226, and FE2882062 issued to Steven W. Easley, M.D., 
be, and they hereby are, revoked. Pursuant to the authority vested in 
me by 21 U.S.C. 823(f), I further order that any applications to renew 
or modify the above registrations be, and they hereby are, denied. This 
Order is effective immediately.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ For the same reasons that led the Mississippi Board to 
summarily suspend Registrant's medical license, I find that the 
public interest necessitates that this Order be effective 
immediately. 21 CFR 1316.67.

    Dated: May 30, 2017.
Chuck Rosenberg,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2017-11796 Filed 6-6-17; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4410-09-P