Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 22, 2014

Group Wants DesJarlais’ Medical License

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington stopped just short of calling for the head of embattled Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) in a complaint it lodged with his home-state medical board. But the government watchdog group does want the doctor’s medical license, which is currently valid until February 2014, flagged for reconsideration.

DesJarlais came under fire in recent weeks after a transcript of a decade-old exchange between him and a former-patient-turned-paramour emerged in which the conservative lawmaker urged his distressed mistress to pursue an abortion.

CREW filed a formal complaint with the Tennessee Department of Health demanding an investigation.

“The fact that Dr. DesJarlais engaged in a sexual relationship with a female patient — something he does not deny — merits an immediate investigation and sanctions,” the group asserted in its three-page letter.

“It is mind-boggling that when confronted with the patient/mistress’s possible pregnancy, this ardent pro-lifer urged her to have an abortion,” CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan argued in a fiery release, adding, “Where is Speaker John Boehner’s much-touted zero tolerance for unethical conduct now?”

It remains unclear how House Republicans plan to deal with the episode, if at all.

But Tennessee authorities are leaving their options open.

“There is no statute of limitations on filing complaints against licensed health professionals,” Shelley Walker, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Health, told the Chattanooga Free Press.

Calls and emails to DesJarlais’ office were not returned.

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