Drug charges dropped against car­di­ol­o­gist

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES - ALEX GOLDEN

ROGERS — A car­di­ol­o­gist who was sus­pended from his job at Mercy Hospi­tal is back at work af­ter mar­i­juana-re­lated charges against him were dropped, a spokesman said.

Robert Joseph Stuppy and his wife, Becky Kay Stuppy, were ar­rested in Septem­ber in con­nec­tion with pos­ses­sion of a con­trolled sub­stance, man­u­fac­ture of a con­trolled sub­stance, unlawful use of a weapon and steal­ing.

McDon­ald County, Mo., deputies and spe­cial re­sponse team mem­bers in­stalled cam­eras on a mar­i­juana grow­ing op­er­a­tion out­side Pineville af­ter in­ves­ti­gat­ing a tip in Au­gust. Team mem­bers went to gather the cam­eras Sept. 21 and dis­cov­ered two miss­ing. They re­trieved the third cam­era.

Video showed two peo­ple, iden­ti­fied as Robert and Becky Stuppy, tak­ing the two cam­eras and mar­i­juana plants, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease. De­tec­tives searched a home at 590 Hard Drive in ru­ral McDon­ald County and found the mar­i­juana, a .357 Mag­num hand­gun and 10 ri­fles in a locked safe room hid­den by a book­shelf.

Robert Stuppy was charged with all four felonies, but the charges were dis­missed, ac­cord­ing to the McDon­ald County pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice. Court records show Becky Kay Stuppy pleaded guilty to pos­ses­sion of a con­trolled sub­stance and was sen­tenced to five years pro­ba­tion.

“Dr. Robert Stuppy re­sumed see­ing pa­tients at Mercy Clinic Car­di­ol­ogy on Jan. 21. Be­cause Dr. Stuppy’s em­ploy­ment is a per­son­nel mat­ter, Mercy is un­able to pro­vide fur­ther in­for­ma­tion,” spokes­woman Jen­nifer Cook said in an email.

The Arkansas State Med­i­cal Board didn’t take dis­ci­plinary ac­tion against Stuppy, said Kevin O’Dwyer, at­tor­ney for the med­i­cal board.

Doc­tors can lose their li­censes over le­gal trou­ble, O’Dwyer said. The med­i­cal board re­views any crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity. If a doc­tor is con­victed of a felony, or in some cases, a mis­de­meanor, the board will have a hear­ing on the mat­ter and then vote whether the doc­tor vi­o­lated the state’s Med­i­cal Prac­tices Act. If the board de­ter­mines there was a vi­o­la­tion, it will then de­cide what ac­tion to take, which can in­clude fines, a sus­pended li­cense, manda­tory classes or a re­voked li­cense.

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