State revokes the license of a member of the dental board | Local news

MONTPELIER – State of Vermont revoked the license of a popular Chittenden County dentist and senior member of the State Board of Dental Examiners over improper prescription dispensing and his own hospitalization for a drug overdose including cocaine and opiates.

Dr. Randall “Randy” Miller, of South Burlington, originally licensed in July 1984, has agreed not to challenge the state disciplinary measure proposed by the Vermont Office of Professional Regulation, according to recently released files.

Miller and his attorney signed a stipulation and consent order rather than fight four state-filed unprofessional conduct charges, the records show.

The state’s dismissal only came after the other 10 members of the Vermont Board of Dental Examiners were temporarily excluded from the review of Miller’s case. An ad hoc council was specially appointed by Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos to hear Miller’s complaint on November 15.

Condos, whose office helps oversee 50 licensed professions in Vermont involving about 80,000 people, said it was rare to have to replace a full state board due to a real or perceived conflict of interest and appoint a temporary replacement committee. He couldn’t remember the last time it had happened.

Friends, colleagues and others familiar with Miller have said things crashed and burned for the dentist over the summer.

Miller overdosed at a neighbor’s home on July 3 and was revived with Narcan, state and city records show. He was taken to UVM Medical Center, where, in addition to cocaine and opiates, Miller tested positive for benzodiazepines, marijuana and alcohol, records show. He remained hospitalized until July 6.

Miller’s overdose came as two other people – including his eldest son – died of fentanyl overdoses at the same townhouse on Swift Street over a period of approximately 24 hours, records show.

Her son, Brian A. Miller, 29, a well-known musician, was found dead on June 29 after visiting a neighbor’s house to offer his condolences to the family of the suddenly deceased Ellen K. Erdmann, 62. the same day. before.

Death certificates show Erdmann died on June 28 from acute fentanyl poisoning, while Brian Miller died on June 29 from a mixture of acute fentanyl and alcohol poisoning. The three story home is just around the corner from Miller and his son’s house on Spear Street.

South Burlington Police said this week the two deaths were still under active investigation. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and Chittenden County State Attorney’s Office are being updated, police said.

Both deaths were ruled as accidents by the Vermont Chief Medical Examiner’s Office.

Multiple attempts to reach Miller and his lawyer in Burlington, Shireen T. Hart, have failed. A receptionist at her old office reported Miller had “retired,” but she would text him if he wanted to comment on the article.

Miller is also a talented musician and has occasionally performed concerts with his son, most notably at the annual Christmas party for underprivileged children sponsored by the late Burlington businessman Tony Pomerleau.

Miller is well known for his jokes, especially to patients at his Colchester Avenue office, diagonally across from UVM Medical Center. He has been the guest of the “Joke of the Week” segment often over the years on the former morning radio show “Corm and the Coach” starring Steve Cormier and the UVM basketball coach. Tom Brennan.

InvestigationThe Office of Professional Regulation received a complaint on July 8 about Miller – two days after the dentist was released from the hospital for his overdose.

The state Dental Examining Board has jurisdiction to investigate and resolve allegations of unprofessional conduct by dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants.

During two interviews with OPR investigators in July, Miller suggested that “they could assign him as a council member for his own complaint (s) and he would shut it down and make it disappear.” wrote St. James.

Miller in his signed stipulation “submits that such comments were made casually”.

Colleagues have reported that they often see white powder on the surfaces of Miller’s office and on him at work, State Attorney Elizabeth A. St. James wrote in her charges.

Miller admitted to ingesting a white powdery substance on July 3, but thought it was methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin, according to the records. He said he had been prescribed the ADHD medication for about 20 years.

He also admitted to occasionally crushing and snorting Ritalin because it gets into his system faster, according to the stipulation. He noted that some ingestion had occurred at work.

Miller also said he was prescribed hydrocodone-acetaminophen for shoulder and hip pain for about 25 years, records show.

He denied that he had taken any substances that were not prescribed for him while he was working, according to the stipulation.

No more problemsThe Miller investigation revealed other problems. It was led by OPR investigator Kristine Bowdash, a former Middlebury Police Detective and OPR Chief Investigator Michael Warren, a retired Burlington Police Lieutenant Detective.

Here are some of the findings of the Bowdash / Warren Inquiry as per the signed stipulation accepted by Miller, his defense attorney Hart, Attorney St. James and unanimously accepted by the ad hoc Council.

Miller had never subscribed to the Vermont Prescription Monitoring System, which is a state program that would allow him to write prescriptions, notes the fee. Miller has consistently provided repeat prescriptions for controlled substances for the same few patients from July 2017 to July 2021, according to records.

Miller’s repeated prescriptions for the same patients “hardly ever had a corresponding note in the dental records of these patients that would justify the need for a controlled substance prescription,” the stipulation notes.

One of those who obtained the prescriptions was a former hygienist identified in the charges only with her initials “JW,” according to records. They note that Miller wrote more than 10 prescriptions for “JW” to obtain tramadol between 2015 and early 2017. Miller also wrote about 10 prescriptions for him for hydrocodone-acetaminophen between 2015 and early 2019, according to records.

Most of the time “JW” was taking prescriptions, she was a hygienist in Miller’s office. Miller wrote “controlled substance prescriptions for back, neck, shoulder and / or arm pain, none of which was related to dental care or problems,” the stipulation notes.

The last prescription Miller wrote for “JW” was after she quit her job and was written by the dentist specifically for wrist pain, according to the stipulation.

“JW” is now at another dental office in Chittenden County, where a colleague has promised to give him a message about seeking comment for this story.

ExpensesSt. James has filed four unprofessional charges on behalf of the state:

– Count 1: Failure to practice competently, which includes providing unsafe or unacceptable care to patient or client.

– Tribunal 2: Promotion of the sale of drugs or services for a patient in such a way as to exploit the patient, including the supply of drugs for therapeutic purposes other than legal and legitimate.

– Count 3: Failure to comply with federal and state laws or rules governing the profession.

– Count 4: Failure to exercise independent professional judgment in order to avoid actions which “disregard the obligations of the profession”.

The signed stipulation and consent order indicate that it resolves these four counts “and also fully resolves any other licensing issues relating to the respondent’s dental license”.

The document does not detail any further issues and Hibbert, the executive director of the OPR, said only charges filed can be made public.

The document notes that Miller “neither admits nor denies the accuracy of the statement of facts and violations.”

He goes on to say: “To avoid the delays, inconvenience and expense of a protracted litigation, the Respondent does not dispute that the State could prove the specification of the charges by a preponderance of the evidence if this case were submitted. at a hearing … “

The signed agreement concludes: “The Respondent accepts that the Board of Directors may find that the Respondent has engaged in unprofessional conduct …”

Council actionThe state of Vermont had to create an “ad hoc” dental examining board after the other members of Miller’s board of directors were removed from their posts.

The secretary of state said the Governor’s Ethics Order and Vermont law require members serving on any state council to recuse themselves if they have a real or perceived conflict of interest with a case they they could examine.

Hibbert said she said every board member has a real or perceived conflict while sitting alongside Miller on the board. Miller had served on the state’s board since July 2010 – the longest of the 11 panel members, the state’s website said.

Dental board meeting minutes show Miller has not attended any monthly meetings since June. The OPR said it resigned from the board on Oct. 21. He remained listed as a board member on the state’s website on Friday afternoon. His tenure was to last until Dec.31, according to state records.

Hibbert said when the time came to find a replacement panel, she went to the forms dentists fill out to renew their state licenses. A question on the form asks if they would be willing to sit on the board as a regular member or just fill in if someone had a conflict of interest on a matter.

She said she found around 20 names, most of them well outside Chittenden County. These were reduced to nine by the time the meeting date was chosen and in a few cases dentists asked not to serve once they learned Miller was the center of attention, she declared.

Hibbert said that prior to the formal ad hoc hearing, his office held two training sessions for temporary members to cover board procedures, including the Vermont Open Meetings Act and the Vermont Open Meetings Act. Vermont public archives.

While the board normally has 11 members, the nine temporary members provided quorum for the panel.

The temporary nine-member panel appointed by Condos was made up of: Drs. Zaher Jabbour, Roni Golden, John Steinman, Charles Ullman, John Echternach; registered dental hygienists, Kaitlin Cornell, Audrey Champagne and Jenina Beach-Ward and member of the public Deb Belcher.

Milton S. Rodgers