Pubdate: Fri, 16 Sep 2005
Source: Ogdensburg Journal/Advance News (NY)
Copyright: 2005 Johnson Newspaper Corp.
Author: Matt Akins
Bookmark: (Oxycontin/Oxycodone)


POTSDAM - The father of a Madrid doctor, who some people are accusing
of being connected to the prescription drug scandal in the North
Country, wants people who really know his son to stand up and support

"I'm asking the many people Dr. James Latimer has helped during his 25
plus years as a St. Lawrence County Physician to come to his support,"
wrote his father Glenn Latimer in a letter to the editor. To include
Dr. Latimer in the present medical drug scandal and insinuate that he
is responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars in unneeded drugs
prescribed to Medicaid patients is untrue and unfair."

Latimer said that he and his wife were spending a few days at a
friend's camp on Lake Ozonia when the first news stories broke in the
media connecting their son to the investigation. They hadn't seen the
television or read the "media circus," according to Mr. Latimer. They
were surprised and shocked when they arrived home and started
receiving phone calls from people telling them that their son was
being linked to this major drug investigation. Latimer said people
were calling his son a "drug pusher."

"It was unbelievable," Latimer said.

Mr. Latimer said he stands by his son's record as a doctor which
spanned over 20 years and includes his current family practice in
Madrid. He has over 4,000 patients.

"They think he walks on water. You can talk to any of them," Latimer
said. "He goes to church on Sunday. He doesn't smoke, drink or gamble.
You know what he does, he works, 10, 12, 16 hours a day. He is at the
hospital before day break."

He supports the other doctors at the hospital and sees over 40
patients a day, according to his father. "He is totally, completely
honest, I can vouch for that," Latimer said.

He believes the allegations going around connecting his son to the
scandal are just "grandstanding" by Acting District Attorney Gary
Miles who is in the middle of a race for the district attorney post
with Potsdam attorney Nicole Duve.

"He is making it sound like Jimmy is the cause for the whole thing,"
Latimer said.

Following the arrest of two people in Gouverneur on Tuesday, including
a pharmacist at the Gouverneur Correctional Facility, Miles said they
were investigating another physician in the area. He wouldn't say who
that physician was, but labeled the person as "the leader of the pack."

But sources have said that Dr. Latimer has 30 days to surrender his
medical license after some have alleged he prescribed narcotics in
large amounts to patients. It is believed that Miles and the DEA were
investigating Dr. Latimer for more than a year. Miles said the DEA
investigation is looking at physicians who prescribe dangerous
narcotics to individuals in such large quantities drugs can be sold to

Latimer said if people are going to target his son for prescribing
drugs, then they should target any doctor who has ever prescribed

"If you are one of thousands of people who Dr. Latimer has helped,
raise your voice to help him, Don't let Dr. Latimer's license to
practice medicine be a feather in a candidate's hat," Mr. Latimer
wrote in his letter.

He also said if the media wants the whole story behind his son then
they should talk to his employees and the other doctors he has worked
with and supported over the years.

"See what he has done and what he stands for," Latimer said, pointing
out the St. Lawrence Medical Society is standing up for their
colleague. "See what esteem he is held in.

"Lastly, check with his patients and see what they think," Latimer
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