BY KEN LITTLE
A recent state Board of Medical
Examiners action continues the suspension of the medical license of Dr. Robert W. Locklear, of
Locklear, 42, was charged in June with possession of crack cocaine.
He recently completed in-patient treatment at a rehabilitation facility in Georgia and has a Greene County Criminal Court appearance scheduled for Nov. 27.
"He's been there three months and is doing follow-up (treatment) now. Everybody I've talked to down there has said he's doing great," said Jerry Fabus Jr., the Johnson City lawyer who, along with Greeneville lawyer Ronald Chesnut, is representing Locklear.
Fabus was interviewed Tuesday.
In an action taken in late September, the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners noted that there had been "unprofessional, dishonorable or unethical conduct" on the part of Locklear for violation of the law.
The violation also noted "habitual intoxication or personal misuse" of any drugs or controlled substances "in such manner as to adversely affect the person's ability to practice medicine."
The action taken by the state board continues the suspension of Locklear's medical license "for not less than 90 days," the assessment of a $3,000 civil penalty, and other costs not to exceed $2,000.
A summary suspension was issued by the board on July 1 pending investigation of his case.
Fabus said that, if Locklear continues to meet treatment conditions set by the Tennessee Medical Foundation (TMF), he should get his license back on a probationary basis.
The TMF is sanctioned by the Tennessee Medical Association and offers professional assistance to doctors with chemical dependencies.
Locklear was charged June 11 with two counts of felony possession of a Schedule II drug. He was released on $80,000 bond after his arrest, with the understanding that he attend a rehabilitation facility.
He subsequently entered a rehab facility in Alabama, but checked himself out in late June without court authorization.
He was re-arrested on June 27 in a hotel room near Birmingham, Ala., and returned to Greeneville.
Locklear tested positive for cocaine after being taken into custody.
At a July 8 Greene County General Sessions Court appearance, Judge Kenneth Bailey Jr. gave Locklear a second chance at rehabilitation from his drug addiction.
"With an addict, you have to get their attention," Fabus said, referring to Locklear's re-arrest in July.
"Then he went to a rehab, and he's taking himself seriously. If he does everything he's supposed to with the Tennessee Medical Foundation, he could be back with his (medical) license on a probationary status even before the criminal case is resolved."
NOT YET INDICTED
Locklear has yet to be indicted on the charges filed against him. That could happen later this month when a Greene County Grand Jury convenes.
He is expected to be in court on Nov. 27, Fabus said.
The charges against Locklear include the intent to sell or deliver drugs. Fabus said Locklear admits to drug use, but was not selling or distributing the substances.
On June 11, he was charged with possession of 6.4 grams of crack cocaine in a room at the Comfort Inn in Greeneville.
"If you're a doctor, you have money (to buy larger quantities)," Fabus said. "Most users are broke."
If Locklear does get his medical license back, it's unknown if he will resume his local internal medicine practice.
He had been in private practice since February 2012 and was previously associated with Takoma Medical Associates. His Greeneville office is currently closed.
"I don't know if he will come back to Greeneville or not," Fabus said.
"As long as he keeps complying with treatment, at some point he should get (his medical license) back, and that should be sooner than later."