"Bumped" Flier Is Felon With Past Psych Issues

Kentucky doctor, 69, once traded painkillers for sex

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United Dragging

APRIL 11--The Kentucky doctor who was dragged screaming off an overbooked United Airlines flight is a convicted felon whose medical license was revoked for more than a decade following his conviction for providing a male patient prescription painkillers “in exchange for sex acts” at a series of motels, according to court records.

David Dao, 69, was forcibly removed Sunday from an aircraft that was preparing to depart Chicago for Louisville. Video of Dao’s extraction by Chicago Department of Aviation security officers went viral yesterday, prompting the airline to contend that the passenger became “belligerent and disruptive” when told that he was being “bumped” from the flight.

Dao was convicted in November 2004 of illegally prescribing painkillers like Vicodin to a male who initially sought treatment from Dao, a pulmonary specialist, for collapsed lungs and chest pain. A Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure report notes that Dao conducted a “genital examination” during his initial evaluation of the patient.

According to investigators, the married Dao became “sexually interested” in the 28-year-old patient, who briefly worked for the physician as an office manager. Dao initially wrote personal checks to the man in exchange for sex and part of the painkillers obtained by the patient. After Dao’s wife, who is also a doctor, discovered the checks, Dao opted to provide the patient with cash.

Dao was arrested after the patient began cooperating with police. Dao was collared after Louisville cops burst into a motel after Dao gave the patient $174 “for a bottle of pills.” Dao was shirtless and had his pants undone when cops entered his room at the Red Carpet Inn.

Dao was subsequently convicted at trial and sentenced to five years probation. He surrendered his medical license--which was suspended following his arrest--three months after jurors found him guilty of multiple felonies.

As detailed in state licensing records, Dao had been the subject of “many complaints” at a Kentucky hospital where he worked. As a result of his “disruptive behavior,” a corrective plan was ordered and Dao was referred for anger management counseling.

In 2007, Dao sought to have his license reinstated, but a subsequent psychological review found “a pattern of deception that is inconsistent with the level of accountability necessary for a practicing physician.” A 2009 assessment of Dao concluded that he was “not safe to practice medicine” and encouraged him to “address his traumatic experiences in childhood and as an adult coming to America in 1995.”

A 2011 evaluation diagnosed Dao with a mood disorder and contended that his commitment to therapy “was less than enthusiastic.” Dao, doctors concluded, “tends to have poor decision-making despite his overall level of ability.”

After further psychological treatment and examinations, Dao was allowed to resume practicing medicine in April 2015, though he was required to be supervised at all times by another doctor.

Dao’s license currently restricts him to the practice of internal medicine in an “outpatient office-based environment,” according to a February 2016 Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure order. Barred from working at a hospital or any other inpatient setting, Dao is only allowed to work one day a week at the Elizabethtown, Kentucky office of the doctor supervising his activities. (10 pages)