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Dynamic Chiropractic – July 3, 1995, Vol. 13, Issue 14

Chiropractic Lobbyist's Letter Warns Governor of Possible Violence to Oregon Board Members

By Editorial Staff
'We are talking about people who have literally loaded their weapons in anticipation of killing someone, and only by luck were deterred before being able to carry out the act.'

-- Excerpt of letter to the governor's office from G.

Glen Comuntzis, lobbyist for the Oregon Doctors of Chiropractic.

Emotions can sometimes run high on issues affecting chiropractors. Feelings of anger and disappointment are not new to this profession.

Witness the volatile emotions apparent in a recent letter sent to the office of Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber by G. Glen Comuntzis, the lobbyist for the Oregon Doctors of Chiropractic (ODOC), a state association of "nearly 100 members." The letter, addressed to Ms. Lisa Howard (responsible for the Governor's appointments), was a follow-up to an earlier call Mr. Comuntzis made to Ms. Howard regarding the Oregon Board of Chiropractic Examiners (OBCE).

In Comuntzis' letter, he states: "If the OBCE is not altered with new and intelligent members, I can only warn the Governor to expect someone to be shot or maimed similarly to what we are seeing in the news nearly on a daily basis now."

The opinion of many who read the Comuntzis letter was that it was threatening. We asked ODOC President James Warner for his opinion. He suggested that the letter should be looked at in context. While he did not refute any part of the letter, he did state: "There are doctors or have been doctors who have threatened physical violence against members of the board. We felt it was our responsibility to let the governor know of some of those threats. They were not ODOC members. This is not ODOC threatening.

"We are very displeased with the way the board is doing business. These are two separate issues. Not by any chance are we suggesting that these actions are proper."

Ms. Howard's reaction to the letter was to forward it to the state police who handle security for the governor's office. Phone calls calls regarding the subject are now forwarded to security.

"We take anything that is placed like this as a threat," said the sergeant on duty in the governor's office. "We did some background checks and the letter is now kept with us as a possible threat." Security, has in fact, investigated lobbyist Comuntzis and anyone he refers to in the letter. "This is not normal correspondence," the sergeant concluded.

In contrast to ODOC's suggestion of other threats against the chiropractic licensing board, the governor's security reports no threats from chiropractors or chiropractic groups.

While the Oregon Board of Chiropractic Examiners has also never received any threats of violence, the Comuntzis letter did prompt a letter of response from the board to ODOC's president, printed in OBCE's quarterly newsletter. Both the Comuntzis letter and the board's letter are printed below.

How would you feel if you, as an association member, were represented by the lobbyist's letter?

Read the letters. You decide what is acceptable and what is going too far.

 



April 5, l995

Ms. Lisa Howard, Exec. Appointments
Office of the Governor
State Capitol
Salem, Oregon 973l0

Dear Lisa,

Thank you for your quick response to my call this week. I have enclosed a synopsis and supporting documentation of several instances (we can provide a lot more if necessary) in which the Oregon Board of Chiropractic Examiners, and the OBCE staff have intentionally violated the rights of doctors, staff and family members with seeming impunity. I say impunity because the AG has told them that they cannot be held responsible for their decisions as the State of Oregon "shields" them.

He is wrong.

In a recent case, the Board Members (all of them) intentionally voted to harm an innocent doctor when they were told by independent counsel of the innocence of the doctor (e.g., Dr. Blandino), yet, they intentionally caused him harm by publicizing his name before a hearing was held in an attempt to smear his reputation. After the hearing, and even after being given the evidence corroborating Dr. Blandino's medical training in Mexico, the Board refused to back down, and imposed a $l,000 fine which he is taking to the Court of Appeals.

There are nine doctors from the past five years whose practices have been severely harmed by the AG when the OBCE should have exerted its jurisdiction under law, but remained silent (with the AG as their counsel) thereby permitting the AG to engage in 9 separate very wasteful, expensive taxpayer-paid attacks against innocent doctors. All were exonerated in court. The State of Oregon's taxpayers wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars per case as did the doctors. But, the AG and the OBCE knew that because recently, the E.D. and the Chairman of the OBCE both stated in the Salem "Statesman" that the issue of the prosecutions was "no big deal."

Tell that to the AG and to the doctors who spent millions of dollars in court! Tell that to other innocent victims of the OBCE who had loaded their weapons in anticipation of killing state members! "No big deal?" This Board is clearly, and arrogantly, out of control. It needs to be changed.

Lisa, I have served on boards and commissions since 1968, and have even offered your administration my public service. I have consulted literally hundreds of public officials including several Presidents of the United States, dozens of Governors and gubernatorial candidates, and hundreds of Congressmen and candidates for Congress. When I saw a major problem arising, I warned the policy-makers about it. Sometimes they took heed and acted thereby alleviating a volatile situation. Other times they did not (such as placing US Marines in Lebanon, and killing many), and there were dire consequences.

This is one of those volatile situations. While I produce and publish news publications, I have access to sources in which information was revealed that some "targeted" innocent persons were so anguished by their treatment by the OBCE that guns were literally loaded with the intention of killing Board Members and others. When we attempted to explain that situation to the OBCE, they argued with me and several doctors.

We were not expressing an opinion, but a warning that they were creating a tragedy for themselves and for the State. They were less than cooperative in their arrogance, as well as their stupidity. Apparently, these people have chosen to deny the fact that they could have created an environment in which they have jeopardized their own lives. My sources explain quite to the contrary that it was just good fortune and a lot of calming that stopped more than one person from going on a shooting rampage against them! Now why do you suppose innocent persons would resort to that behavior? It is obvious to me as I am certain it is to you. This OBCE Board is out of control and needs to be changed from the top-down.

Lisa, I have not felt this strongly about an issue in years. I am certain that if the Governor permits this situation to continue, there will be blood-shed. I am not an alarmist. I have worked for the highest elected officials in America who have been targets themselves. The OBCE has violated the fundamental rights of innocent individuals who themselves have seen no alternative, and no justice because of the AG's corrupt involvement washing across the government. Therefore, they see themselves as victims with no recourse for justice other than violence.

Who caused this? The Governors of Oregon did by virtue of appointing "dunces" to the Board; the Board did by encouraging a staff to violate the rights of citizens' and the AG did by agreeing to let SAIF destroy innocent peoples' lives using the AG's Attorneys for the sake of a few dollars for SAIF's bottom-line.

I can bring together all the doctors who have been intentionally smeared by the OBCE and the AG for an in-depth meeting. They can tell the Governor every instance in which their rights were intentionally trashed by the OBCE, its E.D., and its so-called counsel.

If the OBCE is not altered with new and intelligent members, I can only warn the Governor to expect someone to be shot or maimed similarly to what we are seeing in the news nearly on a daily basis now. My warning to you is simply this: Left unaltered, someone is going to be physically harmed. And, that alone should tell the Governor how vital it is that he intervene in this issue and alter that Board.

We are not talking about "opinion" here. We are talking about people who have literally loaded their weapons in anticipation of killing someone, and only by luck were deterred before being able to carry out the act. This is how low the OBCE has become when innocent citizens are forced to resort to violence.

it is my hope that you will take this issue to John, and that you will please take our advice and alter the OBCE and its structure such that innocent people will NEVER be trashed by the State again. We offer our resources to help you. But, please make this happen quickly. I hope that you see what we see coming; heed our counsel; and make the requisite changes to obviate such a tragedy. Thank you for your help in this matter.

Sincerely,

G. Glen Comuntzis
GCA/ODOC/OrSBA

References

Jim Warner, DC
President, ODOC
3700 River Rd. N
Keizer, OR 97303

Dear Dr. Warner:

ODOC's March and April newsletters and Glen Comuntzis' letter to Lisa Howard of the Governor's office have gone beyond the limits of common decency in attacking the Oregon Board of Chiropractic Examiners (OBCE), the Executive Director of the Board, and the Assistant Attorney General that represents the Board.

These written attacks are unprofessional, mean-spirited and in error. The attacks are also defamatory. Your actions are certainly not consistent with a desire to build a trust between your association and the Board of Examiners.

The OBCE is a state agency whose primary concern is to protect the chiropractic consuming public.

The Board members, appointed by the Governor, are in charge of setting policies consistent with the Oregon Revised Statutes and Administrative Rules. The Executive Director administers the day to day activities of the Board based on Board policy. The Assistant Attorney General advises the Board on legal matters. Neither the Executive Director or the Assistant Attorney General has a vote in decisions made by the Board. They both do a fine job of advising and assisting the Board to make fair and legally defensible policies and sanctions. Neither the Director nor the Assistant Attorney General deserve your attacks.

The five members on the OBCE sacrifice considerable time and expend enormous energy directed toward the bettering of chiropractic in Oregon. Board members do not show bias or attack any chiropractor in the state. Board members must be objective in any review of a complaint. This is the standard to which we adhere.

The Board, personally, reviews all complaints that are received in the office. The Board has the authority to investigate a case or refer the case to peer review. If a violation is found, a sanction may be imposed. The sanctions may include a civil penalty, probation, suspension, or revocation of license.

If the doctor disagrees with the Board's proposed action, a contested case hearing may be held at the request of that doctor. A final order is adopted by the Board based on the testimony and evidence at the hearing where both sides are usually represented by an attorney. If a sanction is ordered, the doctor may appeal in the Court of Appeals. This is the due process afforded to every Doctor of Chiropractic in Oregon.

ODOC has stated that they are not represented on the Board. The truth is that the Board is appointed by the Governor to represent all chiropractors in Oregon regardless of affiliation. Several members of ODOC have been or are now members of either the Board or board committees. Both peer review and the rule advisory committee currently have ODOC members. Each of these committees has very important board delegated functions.

Regarding Glen Comuntzis' letter of April 15, 1995, the only people who have been intentionally smeared and defamed are the Board members, the Executive Director, and the Assistant Attorney General.

The truth is that none of the current Board members was on the Board before June 1990. The SAIF lawsuits that you feel the Board should have stopped, occurred before June 1990. Further, the OBCE was not a party to these legal actions and could have done nothing to prevent or stop them.

In the Blandino case, the overwhelming evidence showed that Dr. Blandino did not finish his requirements to obtain a medical degree and is not licensed as a medical doctor in any state or country. This in direct contradiction to Dr. Blandino's sworn testimony before a jury in a southern Oregon court case wherein he testified that he was a medical doctor. The Board's final order is public record. You may obtain it by writing to the Board office. This case was decided on the facts, as required by law, and not emotion.

The Board has always been willing to listen to anyone about any topic affecting the profession. Drs. Gorman and McDowell met personally with ODOC's leadership on December 29, 1994, in an evening meeting, for over three hours to discuss their concerns.

The OBCE has taken an active stance for chiropractic in this state. SB53 is a positive legislative measure demonstrating this commitment. This kind of positive action can only be accomplished when all parties cooperate. The impact of this approach was clearly demonstrated when a legislator commented that he was pleasantly surprised to see the unity in the profession.

The Board's hope is that in the future we can continue to work together in a spirit of cooperation and with constructive attitude of rebuilding trust, one step at a time. The Board will continue to show fairness and equality of treatment to all doctors. We will continue to uphold the statutes and rules and will work to educate the profession.

Board members deserve ODOC's respect, not its enmity. We hope this letter will be the first step in that direction.

Sincerely,

The Board of Chiropractic Examiners

Richard E. Gorman, DC
President

Bonnie McDowell, DC
Secretary

Larry Peterson
Public Member

Michael G. Lang, DC
Vice-President

Roger Setera, DC


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