Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009 | 7:21 a.m.
The Board of Medical Examiners will be represented by private attorney John Bailey when it goes to court today to defend the emergency regulation the board enacted earlier this month. The regulation prohibits medical assistants from injecting cosmetic fillers such as Botox, but allows MAs who administer vaccinations to continue breaking a 30-year-old law that has not been enforced, except once recently and in an arbitrary fashion. (See Monday's program with Betty Guerra, the woman thrown in jail by the AG on a complaint forwarded from the medical board for doing the same procedures as her counterparts in medical spas and doctors' offices throughout the state. The AG's office says it's proceeding with Guerra's prosecution for now and waiting to see how the story plays out.)
Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto told the medical board's executive director Louis Ling, who is an attorney, to find another attorney as the AG's office has several conflicts. AG Spokewoman Edie Cartwright says the criminal complaint against Guerra poses one conflict. (I don't know why since MAs are prohibited from injecting cosmetic fillers regardless of the outcome.)
Another conflict cited by Cartwright: Deputy AG Christine Guerci, who advised the board it could ignore the public comment and vote, might be called as a witness. Guerci told the board the public could be heard after the vote, which essentially renders public input irrelevant and in this case left some speakers addressing the few remaining board members who had not scurried off to lunch.
We wanted to know if Mr. Bailey's representation of the board will cost taxpayers, but Mr. Ling isn't talking. The medical board is self-funded by license fees and has the ability to hire anyone without oversight.