Texas Vet Board Watch
In honor and in memory of Stempy Munson - our beloved Shih Tzu - and all other victims of bad veterinarians.
www.texasvetboardwatch.info


The eyes of Texas are upon you!

Press PLAY to hear the BAD VET BOARD warning siren!

Mission:To monitor the activities of the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (the Board), the regulatory agency for Texas veterinarians. The Board has a terrible track record of protecting the public and is much more likely to protect bad vets, instead of Texas pets. We here at the Texas Vet Board Watch will report on the Board's activities to make the public aware of what is going on in Austin, Texas. It is our ultimate goal to bring about change to the laws governing the complaint process to make it fair for all involved. The Board dismissed 92% of all consumer malpractice complaints in 2006.Truly shameful.
Notice: This website is NOT associated in any way with the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, or any other regulatory agency. This website is an independent consumer advocacy website.
Meet these Texas Vet Victims who are also victims of the flawed Texas Vet Board complaint process:

There are MANY more Texas Vet Victims out there without websites. These just scratch the surface. If you, or someone you know, has also been a victim of a Bad Texas Vet, click here to let us know.

Visit our friends at the Veterinary Abuse Network.
Veterinary Abuse Network

Visit our related website:

Visit this informative page on this website. Click here:
Rulings Watch





FAQs for Texas Residents
about the
Texas Vet Board
Complaint Process

as compiled by
San Antonio, Texas
Consumer Advocate Julie Catalano,
founder of the 

Veterinary Abuse Network

1. What if my vet isn't on the list of disciplined vets at the state board's web site? Does that mean he's never had a complaint against him?

Unfortunately, no. It only means he/she was not disciplined by the board. Texas does not disclose any previous or open complaints or investigations on veterinarians if they did not result in disciplinary action, so even if a vet does not show up on this list, it does NOT mean that he has never been filed on or under investigation. The board could have a record of complaints a mile long on a particular vet, and the public will never know. Other states allow residents to see a complete list of names of vets who have been filed on, but not Texas. Much still needs to be done in this area to guarantee protection of our animal companions.

Further, in recent years, the Texas vet board has severely eroded the usefulness of their disciplinary records site, deliberately and purposefully removing all disciplinary action in conjunction with “informal reprimands,” (even in cases where animals have died); violations of statutes regarding DEA licenses; and violations of CE requirements. This means that the board ACTIVELY seeks to remove that information from public view – a shameful practice. They are forbidden by law to remove it from public record, so they did the next best thing: they took it off their web site – thereby protecting a vet with a disciplinary record from citizens who may not know enough to call or write the board to see if a specific vet has a record.

The 2004 Sunset recommended that the board make those disciplinary records PUBLIC in an easily accessible format for the public to find. The board cooperated for a time, and then went back to business as usual – removing items that may hurt a vet's business.

Texas consumer advocate Greg Munson worked tirelessly to compile a more accurate and user-friendly site containing the names, locations, violations, and disciplinary actions taken against Texas vets. You can see his efforts at www.texasveterinaryrecords.com

2. What is the state board?

The Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners is made up of six veterinarians and three public members. They generally serve six year terms and are appointed by the governor.

3. Is my complaint evaluated by the actual board described above?

No. Up until 2006, complaints were evaluated by only ONE VET on the actual board. The decision was made by ONLY ONE VET, NOT THE ACTUAL BOARD. Currently, there are TWO reviewing vets (thanks to the changes brought about by the Sunset Commission that were incorporated into HB1131 in 2005), but the original complaint still does not go to the full board. If a complaint is dismissed after the two reviewing vets evaluate it along with the response received by the veterinarian, the complainant receives a letter saying the complaint has been dismissed. If the two reviewing vets agree that the case needs to be investigated further, or the vet's response was not sufficiently satisfactory  it may go to informal conference to determine if a violation occurred. If the two vets disagree on whether or not a violation has occurred, it automatically goes to conference. This prevents ONLY ONE VET from being the unilateral decision maker, as was previously the case before the 2004 Sunset commission.

4. Can I get my complaint directly to the full board so they can see it, or can I have contact with the reviewing vets on the board during the investigation?

No on both counts. Complaints are funneled through the board agency/staff and go through several steps. You cannot contact the board directly, or the reviewing vets on the case. The veterinarian, however, can have contact with the reviewing vets during the investigation.

5. Do I get to see the vet's response to my complaint?

Yes! Finally, after years of hard work and research, along with a favorable ruling by the attorney general, Texas consumer advocate Greg Munson succeeded in getting that change made to the complaint review process. The vet's initial written response to the complaint is automatically sent to the complainant.

6. Why doesn't the entire board evaluate a case? Isn't that what they were appointed to do?

According to information supplied by the board agency, the veterinarians on the board do not have the time and do not get paid. They do not receive a salary, and do not have the time to evaluate every case. Only two reviewing vets evaluate the case, and prior to 2005, it was only one. Suki's case was evaluated and summarily dismissed by ONE vet, in a complete travesty in which every single piece of documented evidence from the medical records – patient chart and lab work -- were ignored.

7. What is the informal conference?

The informal conference is a proceeding that consists of the Enforcement Committee (usually the non-vet Executive Director, the two reviewing veterinarians who evaluated the original complaint,  one public member, the director of enforcement, the attorney general counsel, and the investigator on the case) -- NOT the full board. The complainant is permitted to attend and is encouraged to do so. The vet will also be notified.  The informal conference is not a legal proceeding. It takes place behind closed doors, with no record of the proceedings; however, no one can prevent you from releasing the name of the vet, the fact that you filed a complaint, the information in the complaint, or the proceedings of the informal conference. The board has no jurisdiction over citizens; they are a licensing, regulatory, and disciplining entity that governs veterinarians, the board, and the agency itself ONLY. If anyone on the committee tells you that you cannot tell what went on in that conference, they are wrong.

8. Can I bring my attorney to the informal conference? 

You can make a request to do so, but it is up to the board to decide if your request is granted. Vets, on the other hand, have the right to bring any attorney of their choosing without having to get permission.  My request to bring my attorney, for example, was denied. Then-board president Lynn Lawhon summarily denied all requests by complainants who wanted to bring their attorneys to the informal conference. This was confirmed by Peter Hartline during a board meeting in 2006 – six years after my conference.

9. Is the informal conference the same as a board hearing?

No. They are two entirely separate proceedings. Few cases get to the hearing stage, unfortunately, as opportunities for dismissal and agreed (consent) order can come into play along the way, thereby never reaching a hearing.  Consent orders (agreed orders) could be compared to a plea bargaining arrangement between the vet, the vet's attorneys -- sometimes paid for by the vet's insurance companies who hire lawyers to represent the vet during this process  -- and the board. But an actual, legal Administrative Hearing takes place ON THE RECORD, before an Administrative Law Judge, and is a PUBLIC PROCEEDING. This usually happens when a vet has been found in violation of statutes of the Texas Veterinary Practice Act, and for whatever reason refuses to sign a consent order agreeing to disciplinary action.  The informal conference as described above, which takes place only if the reviewing vets decide that conference is needed after reviewing the original complaint and the vet's response,  is not a legal proceeding, although complainants now have the right to request that an attorney attend with them. This was not always the case, as past complainants were denied the right to counsel during the informal conference, while the vet was always guaranteed the privilege of bringing his. Improvements need to be implemented in the complaint review process to make it an equitable one for both sides.

10. Can I appeal the decision if the complaint is dismissed?

You can try. They have now what is called a "courtesy appeal" for the complainant if their case is dismissed by the reviewing vets, which was not the case in Suki's and my day. If anybody has had any success with this, I would love to know about it.

Julie Catalano


Disclaimer: None of the above is intended to be legal or medical advice. Vetabusenetwork.com and/or the Texas Vet Board Watch assumes no responsibility for actions taken as a result of any information provided here. Please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in the State of Texas for more information.
 
Edited 5/10/2011

To file a complaint against
a Texas Veterinarian:

Click here!


Music for this page is:
BACKSTABBERS
Dedicated to the Texas Vet Board
Press play to see video & hear the music






Do you need to check the DISCIPLINARY RECORDS
of a Texas veterinarian?

 


"Corruption is authority plus monopoly minus transparency."
Is this the definition of the
Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners?

It might as well be...





"Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly."-
ALBERT EINSTEIN - QUOTED IN THE NEW YORK TIMES - MARCH 13, 1940


Check Vet Records from Other States:

Click here!

Records courtesy of Stefani Olsen of The Toonces Project in Maryland - another vet victim. Here is Stefani & Toonces:






"Corn cannot expect justice from a court composed of chickens."
OLD AFRICAN PROVERB


Pet Owners Call for Reform:

March 2007- Dallas / Fort Worth television station KTVT-CBS11 did a two part story on Bad Vets and how the Board handles complaints. Pet Owners are calling for reform in how the Board does business. Watch both parts of the video here:




November 2008San Antonio television station KSAT-ABC12 did a story on Texas Pet Owners seeking change at the Texas Veterinary Board. Watch the video here:



November 2008- Canton, Ohio radio station Q92 devoted nearly 40 minutes of talk time to the subject of veterinary malpractice on the 'DeLuca in the Morning' show. Listen to the show here:






"Injustice ANYWHERE is a THREAT to justice EVERYWHERE."
Martin Luther King Jr.



Rule Changes & Proposals:


June 2007  Rules to be adopted:

 Chapter 573.77, Cease and Desist Procedures. These amendments authorize the Board to issue a cease and desist order to a person who is found to be engaging in the practice of veterinary medicine without a license. The amendments also allow the Board to consider complaints about the unauthorized practice of veterinary medicine that are not submitted on a standard complaint form as required by Board Rule 575.27. While some form of written documentation is required, this documentation may be no more than a notation of a telephone conversation with the potential violator, or a business card indicating the illegal practice. The Board can then investigate the complaint further to determine if it has merit. The rule also provides for the process the Board may utilize in the review of the complaint. Dr. Alldredge moved, Dr. Johnsen, seconded and the motion passed to adopt the proposed amendments.


June 2007 - Rules to be proposed:

Chapter 575.27, Complaints – Receipt, Investigation and Disposition. The amendments spell out Board procedures in investigating complaints that are currently being followed. For example, one amendment specifies that a licensee must respond to a complaint within 21 days of receipt of the complaint from the Board. Another amendment states that in addition to contacting the complainant during an investigation, the investigator may contact other persons that may be involved in the case, such as second opinion veterinarians. Other changes are for clarification of current procedures. The name of a committee that hears complaints at an informal conference is changed from a “conference committee” to an “enforcement committee,” to reflect the Board’s common designation of that committee. Mr. Martinez moved, Dr. Carpenter seconded, and the motion passed to publish the proposed preamble and amendments in the Texas Register in accordance with law.

February 2008 -  - Rules to be proposed:

MAJOR RULE CHANGES PROPOSED! 
Click here!


"He who decides a case without hearing the other side, cannot be considered just."
OLD ROMAN PROVERB


VISIT VET VICTIM BETTY GARRITY'S SPECIAL WEBPAGE FEATURING AN IN DEPTH LOOK OF THE TEXAS VET BOARD AT BO BO BEAR'S WEBSITE:

Texas Vet Board / A Closer Look


Bo Bo Bear






Board Members:

L to R - Alldredge, Heflin, Rosberg, Carpenter, Allen, Kercheval, Diaz, Clader, Martinez
-----------------------------------------
Bud E. Alldredge, Jr., DVM
President - Sweetwater, TX

Patrick M. Allen, DVM
(passed away April 2010)
Vice President
- Lubbock, TX

Janie Allen Carpenter, DVM
Secretary
- Garland, TX

Paul Martinez
Member - Sonora, TX

David Wayne Heflin, DVM
Member - Mission, TX

Cynthia Diaz
Member - San Antonio, TX

John David Clader, DVM
Member -  Pleasanton, TX

David Rosberg Jr., DVM
Member - Mason, TX

David Kercheval
Member - Grandview, TX


---------------------
Board Employees:

Dewey Helmcamp - Executive Director


Nicole Oria - General Counsel

Peter Hartline - Director of Enforcement

Loris Jones - Public Information Officer

Ina Franz - Licensing Director
---------------------
Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
333 Guadalupe Street Tower III Suite 810
Austin, Texas 78701
Phone:  512.305.7555
1.800.821.3205
Fax:  512.305.7556
email:  vet.board@tbvme.state.tx.us
---------------------
American Assoc. of Veterinary State Boards
AAVSB
The "MOTHERSHIP" of all Vet Boards






Vet Board Meeting Updates:

October 2006 - Julie Catalano - Amendment Defeated - A proposed amendment would have required Texas vets to note in the patient record when services and treatments are offered to the client and declined.  The amendment's defeat gives Texas vets complete protection should they violate the humane standard of care - all they have to do is blame the client for "declining" proper tests and treatments when there is no notation in the record of that ever happening. It's a foolproof way for vets to mistreat your pet in any number of ways, enjoy zero accountability for what is (and is NOT) on their patient records, and then later blame YOU for their own actions!

February 2007Julie Catalano - At the public meeting of the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, Board members voted to pass an amendment to Rule 575.27 -- Complaints - Receipt, Investigation and Disposition -- which will require veterinarians to turn over patient records to board investigators at the onset of an investigation instead of seeing the complaint first and then submitting records.
 
June 2007 - Greg Munson - This was a particularly crowded meeting, with a HUGE turnout due to the looming battle in Texas over Equine Dentistry. During the public comments portion of the meeting, there were two speakers before me who spoke about equine dentistry. I then took my turn and gave my speech. They called an end to the public comments portion of the meeting with 4 of us yet to speak – Julie Catalano, my wife Cindy Munson, Betty Garrity, and Jack Wolfson. Jack was running a little late, but did arrive before the public comments had ended. Julie stood up and said “Hey what about us?” They said they thought the rest of the comments were about rules and would be heard later. Julie told them and I told them “No these are public comments that need to be heard now!” They let the other speeches be heard. Julie first, then Cindy, followed by Betty. After Betty’s speech, Ms. Reveley – lawyer – public board member – stated there needed to be some kind of checks to make sure the complainant is interviewed by the investigator because that is what the rule says – Betty was not interviewed. We were not interviewed. The Executive Director felt the need to give that same old “We are sorry about your pets” speech. Dr. Johnsen started talking about how the complainant should be allowed to see and respond to the vet’s response. This is the same rule change I had proposed in February, but Mr. Mathews – legal counsel – said was impossible due to the confidentiality law. The Board said they would find a way around that – we’ll see.  I then told them that Jack Wolfson (the other pet owner in the Ch. 11 story with us) also had a speech to give – otherwise they would have skipped him, too. Jack then gave his speech and compared the board to the O.J. Simpson jury that acquitted him. After Jack’s speech Julie, Betty, and myself, got up and went outside to the hall. We were talking when up walks the Executive Director – Dewey Helmcamp. He felt the need to leave the meeting himself and come find us to talk to us. A boiling point had been met and things were about to come to a head. He assured us there was a way around that confidentiality statute and they would get that changed. You better believe we are going to hold him to it. (Mr. Helmcamp later denied ever saying this - but all three of us...Julie, Betty, and myself heard him very clearly say the Board could find a way around this. So did Mr. Helmcamp lie right to our faces?) Whether he was genuinely concerned or worried about what we might be up to is open for debate. Needless to say, it was probably the most productive 5 minute conversation any of us have ever had with someone from the Board.  (Obviously, our talk with Mr. Helmcamp meant nothing - out of sight, out of mind.) We had stirred the pot to be sure. On another break, Dr. Janie Carpenter –the board vet who appeared in the Ch.11 story – approached Cindy and I and told us that she and another unnamed vet would discuss Stempy’s complaint with us. When the meeting resumed after the break – rules were discussed - but we were not allowed to give any comments -equine dentistry was then the topic. After a little while, we (Cindy & I, Julie, & Betty) decided to go to lunch. When we returned, the board was discussing the disciplinary cases and had heard from lawyers representing accused vets trying to reduce the charges against them. The Board went into executive session to discuss the cases. For the disciplinary cases, 2 were approved and 2 were rejected. The Board then honored Lee Mathews – general counsel – who retired. We then got the Executive Director’s report. Somehow, there was a decrease in complaints from FY 06 (336) so far in FY 07 (229). He discussed the future cooperation they intended to have with the TVMA. He discussed getting the Board’s “ducks in a row” for the 81st Legislature. The Board has been approved for a $259k budget increase for FY08. Will be used for 1-FT General Counsel – 1-FT exec. Asst. for General Counsel. – 1-FT-Investigator – primarily aimed at the unlicensed practice of vet medicine (How about the BAD vets who have a license?). Investigators will now be working FROM HOME and on the road due to lack of office space. (Isn'that great? The investigators already lie about interviewing the complainant. Now they will receive NO supervision!) The Board voted a $5k/yr raise for the Executive Director effective September 1st (For what? Protecting MORE bad vets? For telling lies to a concerned public?). Once the meeting was over, Mr. Helmcamp immediately came up to Cindy and I. He told us that when Dr. Johnsen had originally reviewed our complaint, he read through it FOUR times and truly agonized over the decision. (Dr. Johnsen had to leave to catch his flight back to El Paso) Mr. Helmcamp is going to set us up an appointment to meet with Dr. Johnsen to discuss the complaint and Dr. Johnsen's thought process when he reviewed our complaint. He said it may or may not be what we want to hear. It may or may not satisfy us. (UPDATE - We finally received an analysis from Dr. Johnsen in July. Dr. Johnsen CERTAINLY never agonized over the decision - another Helmcamp lie? - and, of course, Dr. Johnsen would not speak to us. After reading his analysis, we seriously doubt he read everything we submitted EVEN ONE TIME. His analysis was the most insulting, biased, and uninformed commentary we could have ever imagined. Frankly, Dr. Johnsen owes us an apology. Just and fair? Not even close.) 

see more updates on right









Board Meeting Minutes:

Minutes of 06/19/2008 Board Meeting




NEVER BLINDLY TRUST YOUR VET!



Other Citizen-Monitored State Veterinary Boards:



Check out the
THE BAD VET DAILY

Bad Vet Daily

from blog author and Bad Vet victim Stefani Olsen:
 
"If reading this blog gets one pet owner to admit the thought into their minds that maybe -- just maybe -- they shouldn't blindly trust their vet, it will have been worth it. We need to become proactive in evaluating vets and their care, not waiting for a tragedy."





NEVER BLINDLY TRUST YOUR VET!







THE EYES OF TEXAS ARE UPON YOU!







THE BOARD PROTECTS BAD VETS, NOT PETS!








Stempy
Stempy Munson
7/17/97 - 9/30/05

This website is dedicated to the memory of Stempy, an extremely special little Shih Tzu  who meant the world to his humans - Greg & Cindy Munson - of Mesquite, Texas. Stempy passed away at the age of 8 years due to the alleged negligent and substandard care he received from his veterinarian, Ann K. Thomas, DVM - Rodeo Drive Veterinary Hospital - Mesquite, Texas.. Be sure to visit Stempy's website to read his story.
-- Greg Munson







Join the Blue Ribbon Online Free Speech Campaign





Join the Blue Ribbon Online Free Speech Campaign






















Visit our website:

Vets from HELL!
featuring BAD vet Ann Thomas DVM
Rodeo Dr. Veterinary Hospital
Mesquite, Texas




























At the June 2008 Board meeting, the Board discussed giving Continuing Education credits to the veterinary Board members. Is this what they had in mind?


































THE EYES OF TEXAS ARE UPON YOU!



THE BOARD PROTECTS BAD VETS, NOT PETS!












NEVER BLINDLY TRUST YOUR VET!







NEVER BLINDLY TRUST YOUR VET!







THE EYES OF TEXAS ARE UPON YOU!







THE BOARD PROTECTS BAD VETS, NOT PETS!






















NEVER BLINDLY TRUST YOUR VET!
















NEVER BLINDLY TRUST YOUR VET!






THE BOARD PROTECTS BAD VETS, NOT PETS!










THE BOARD PROTECTS BAD VETS, NOT PETS!



Stempy
Stempy Munson
7/17/97 - 9/30/05

This website is dedicated to the memory of Stempy, an extremely special little Shih Tzu  who meant the world to his humans - Greg & Cindy Munson - of Mesquite, Texas. Stempy passed away at the age of 8 years due to the alleged negligent and substandard care he received from his veterinarian, Ann K. Thomas, DVM - Rodeo Drive Veterinary Hospital - Mesquite, Texas.. Be sure to visit Stempy's website to read his story.
-- Greg Munson





Visit our website:

Vets from HELL!
featuring BAD vet Ann Thomas DVM
Rodeo Dr. Veterinary Hospital
Mesquite, Texas




























At the June 2008 Board meeting, the Board discussed giving Continuing Education credits to the veterinary Board members. Is this what they had in mind?










Visit our website:

Vets from HELL!
featuring BAD vet Ann Thomas DVM
Rodeo Dr. Veterinary Hospital
Mesquite, Texas

























NEVER BLINDLY TRUST YOUR VET!


Stempy
Stempy Munson
7/17/97 - 9/30/05

This website is dedicated to the memory of Stempy, an extremely special little Shih Tzu  who meant the world to his humans - Greg & Cindy Munson - of Mesquite, Texas. Stempy passed away at the age of 8 years due to the alleged negligent and substandard care he received from his veterinarian, Ann K. Thomas, DVM - Rodeo Drive Veterinary Hospital - Mesquite, Texas.. Be sure to visit Stempy's website to read his story.

-- Greg Munson


Texas Vet Board Watch


February 6, 2014

Can a veterinarian with a past disciplinary record objectively sit in judgement of his peers?

Joe Mac King
Joe Mac King DVM
Joe Mac King DVM, of Dallas, Texas, was appointed to the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners by Gov. Rick Perry back in September of 2011.

The governor's office is supposed to do their due diligence before appointing new board members to all of the various state agencies. Apparently the governor's office chose to ignore the fact that Joe Mac King DVM, who is currently serving as the vice president of the board, has been previously sanctioned by this very board for STANDARD OF CARE violations!

Specifically, Dr. King 'severed and tied off the urethra at the neck of the urinary bladder during a surgery to remove an un-descended testicle. Following surgery, the bladder ruptured causing the death of the animal. It was also noted that the testicle was still present and intact in the abdominal cavity after the surgery .'

Now, granted, this violation occurred way back in 1976. Nevertheless, you would think that a vet who has been previously sanctioned for standard of care violations might be inappropriate to be appointed to serve on the board of the exact same state agency who previously sanctioned his license to practice veterinary medicine.

Here is a link to the aforementioned sanctions:

 http://texasveterinaryrecords.com/King%201976-5.pdf

So, I ask the question again...

Can a veterinarian with a past disciplinary record objectively sit in judgement of his peers?

You can now share your thoughts and answer this question on facebook, because the Texas Vet Board Watch IS NOW ON FACEBOOK! Click the link!

Facebook - Texas Vet Board Watch

Greg Munson
Founder, Texas Vet Board Watch




January 30, 2014

Board Order Analysis 2008 - 2013



In 2008, the board issued 87 total board orders sanctioning veterinarians. The board deemed 17 of those 87 board orders as serious enough to report to the national database. Of those 17 board orders deemed serious enough to report to the national database, 10 board orders were consumer initiated. 70 of the 87 total board orders issued in 2008 are not publicly disclosed in the board's online Disciplinary Summary.

In 2009, the board issued 91 total board orders sanctioning veterinarians. The board deemed 19 of those 91 board orders as serious enough to report to the national database. Of those 19 board orders deemed serious enough to report to the national database, 6 board orders were consumer initiated. 72 of the 91 total board orders issued in 2009 are not publicly disclosed in the board's online Disciplinary Summary.

In 2010, the board issued 93 total board orders sanctioning veterinarians. The board deemed 25 of those 93 board orders as serious enough to report to the national database. Of those 25 board orders deemed serious enough to report to the national database, 11 board orders were consumer initiated. 68 of the 93 total board orders issued in 2010 are not publicly disclosed in the board's online Disciplinary Summary.

In 2011, the board issued 65 total board orders sanctioning veterinarians. The board deemed 15 of those 65 board orders as serious enough to report to the national database. Of those 15 board orders deemed serious enough to report to the national database, 6 board orders were consumer initiated. 50 of the 65 total board orders issued in 2011 are not publicly disclosed in the board's online Disciplinary Summary.

In 2012, the board issued 105 total board orders sanctioning veterinarians. The board deemed 31 of those 105 board orders as serious enough to report to the national database. Of those 31 board orders deemed serious enough to report to the national database, 12 board orders were consumer initiated. 74 of the 105 total board orders issued in 2012 are not publicly disclosed in the board's online Disciplinary Summary.

In 2013, the board issued 155 total board orders sanctioning veterinarians. The board deemed 73 of those 155 board orders as serious enough to report to the national database. Of those 73 board orders deemed serious enough to report to the national database, 31 board orders were consumer initiated. 82 of the 155 total board orders issued in 2013 are not publicly disclosed in the board's online Disciplinary Summary.

ALL BOARD ORDERS ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST FROM THE BOARD. Alternatively, all board orders are maintained online at our related website - Texas Veterinary Records.

Greg Munson
Founder, Texas Vet Board Watch


January 6, 2014
 
 

January 6, 2014 - NEW UPDATE!


I apologize for not updating the TVBW website for the last few years. That does not mean we have not been watching the board.

There have been many changes that have happened since our last update in May of 2011. At this time, I believe it is extremely important to mention a recent new appointment to the board (There were actually 3 recent appointments to the board, but we will focus on one particular appointment):

...from the Fall / Winter 2013 issue of Board Notes from the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners...

Roland Lenarduzzi
Roland Lenarduzzi DVM
Meet Roland Lenarduzzi, DVM:


Roland Lenarduzzi, DVM of Alvin is a veterinarian and owner of Manvel Animal Clinic. He received a bachelor’s degree and veterinary medicine degree from Texas A&M University. He is an active member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA), local VMAs and the Texas Academy of Veterinary Practice. Dr. Lenarduzzi replaces John Clader, DVM of Jourdanton, for a term to expire August 26, 2019.

Sounds ok, maybe, right?

Well, maybe we should look a little deeper. Understand that Dr. Lenarduzzi is the former president of the TVMA. Let me repeat that and let that sink in for just a second....

DR. ROLAND LENARDUZZI IS THE FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE TEXAS VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (TVMA) ...

...you know, the organization that advocates for the best interest of Texas veterinarians. So, now as a member of the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, Dr. Lenarduzzi is charged with protecting Texas pets from and regulating these same Texas veterinarians who previously benefited from his advocacy.

 
RED FLAG

How is this not a conflict of interest?

Recently, the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners has improved some public access to disciplinary information. This must be a troubling development for Dr. Lenarduzzi. Why must it be troubling? Well, I'm glad I asked!

Let's take a look back in time ..... just 10 years ago .... when Dr. Lenarduzzi was just beginning his reign as president of the TVMA. The Sunset Commission was reviewing the performance of the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. (Click here to see the report) On page 17 of the pdf - labeled page 14 at the bottom of the page - the issue of public access to disciplinary information was mentioned with a request for comments of those who were for the proposed changes or against the proposed changes:

2.12 Public Access to Disciplinary Information

Agency Response
The Board has this information on its Web site and is in the process of improving the format. (Ron
Allen, Executive Director – Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners)

Other Responses

For
Julie Catalano, Member – American Society of Journalists and Authors; Founder –
www.vetabusenetwork.com, San Antonio
Rita S. Agenstein, e-mail; Anne Lombardo Ardolino, New York; Barbara Bagley, Waco; Valine
Bartlett, e-mail; Diana and Robert Bender, e-mail; K. Bennett, e-mail; Susan Blumert, e-mail; Candace
Bradley, Louisville, KY; Susan Cannon, Ferris; Larry Dakin, e-mail; Nancy Deas, e-mail; Janet DeLuca,
e-mail; Diane Gallagher, New York; Mary Gallatin, e-mail; Adelaida Hernandez, San Antonio; Carol
Mahler, RN, San Antonio; Sharlene Marchese, e-mail; the Patrick family, e-mail; Dan Presswood,
Boerne; Deborah Ramos, Austin; Linda Gómez Richter, San Antonio; Adam Riff, e-mail; Marcia
Rosenberg, Mt. Pleasant, SC; Dina Walker, e-mail

Against
Roland Lenarduzzi, DVM, President-Elect – Texas Veterinary Medical Association, Manvel

This should make it clear why improved public access to disciplinary information is a troubling development for Dr. Lenarduzzi. This should also clearly illustrate why we believe that there is a clear conflict of interest in the appointment of Dr. Lenarduzzi to the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.

Go ahead and read our previous update directly below from May 5, 2011. What was the concern then? The TVMA? Huh? Oh. Now we know.

How does that make you feel, Texas???

Greg Munson
Founder, Texas Vet Board Watch



May 5, 2011

There have been a few things occur since I last updated this website in November 2010:

DECEMBER 2010:  The citizen rule proposal mentioned below passed at the December board meeting! This is a historic event for the Texas Vet Board Watch! It is easily our greatest accomplishment since our inception in 2007. From now on, the complainant will automatically receive a copy of the licensee's response to a complaint. This gives the complainant an opportunity to rebut any inconsistent events and/or untruths contained in the licensee's response. We still have a long way to go to make the complaint process fair in Texas, but this is a step in the right direction.

MARCH 2011:  At the March board meeting, the board decided to relieve Dewey Helmcamp of his duties as Executive Director of the board. The board named Nicole Oria as interim Executive Director. As seen below on this website, the Texas Vet Board Watch has long advocated for the board to fire Dewey Helmcamp. We will say that Mr. Helmcamp did show us more respect over the last year or so and our working relationship with him had grown considerably, and for those reasons, we are actually sad to see him go. We must now develop a new working relationship with whoever the board chooses as the next Executive Director.

This is pure speculation, but we believe the board relieved Mr. Helmcamp of his duties because of the board's defeat in their lawsuit with equine teeth floaters. We firmly believe that the TVMA has extreme influence over the board members, especially those who are vets, of the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. We also believe that the TVMA will play an influential role in the choice of the next Executive Director of the Texas board. THIS IS A CONFLICT OF INTEREST. The TVMA's goal is strictly in acting in the best interests of veterinarians. The board is there to REGULATE Texas veterinarians. The board's FIRST priority is to protect the public from BAD vets. The relationship between the board and the TVMA MUST be monitored and exposed as we believe that the TVMA's influence is NOT in the best interest of Texas' pets and should be limited.

It's also interesting to note that a board member who is not a vet, but a public member of the board,  'resigned' recently due to a 'conflict of interest.'  David Kercheval was one of the lone board members who came out in support of the equine teeth floaters in direct opposition to the TVMA. Now Mr. Kercheval is gone. Coincidence? We think not. The TVMA is a well funded organization. They get what they want. We will keep our eyes on the TVMA  as well as the Texas board.

Greg Munson





November 8, 2010

IMPORTANT CITIZEN RULE PROPOSAL PUBLISHED IN TEXAS REGISTER
TEXAS VET BOARD ACCEPTING COMMENTS UNTIL 11/26/2010
RULE PROPOSED AT JUNE 2010 BOARD MEETING BY GREG MUNSON, TEXAS VET BOARD WATCH FOUNDER - SEE NEWS FLASH BELOW

See the proposal in the Texas Register:
http://www.sos.state.tx.us/texreg/archive/October292010/PROPOSED/22.EXAMINING%20BOARDS.html#127

Please submit comments IN SUPPORT of the proposed rule to the Texas Vet Board:

Mail:
Loris Jones
Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
333 Guadalupe, Ste. 3-810
Austin, Texas 78701-3942
 
Fax:
(512) 305-7574
 
Email:






JUNE 29, 2010

ATTN. CONCERNED VETERINARY CONSUMERS
Yet another assistant Attorney General ruling that is detrimental to the complainant
http://www.oag.state.tx.us/opinions/openrecords/50abbott/orl/2010/pdf/or201009595.pdf


This ruling is significant in that it states that the board is not required to release the licensee's response to the complainant, but that it is permitted to do so. This means that the board decides whether or not to release the licensee's response to the complainant, EVEN IF THE INVESTIGATION IS OPEN. Unbelievable. We MUST get the proposed rule revision mentioned directly below passed and into board rules to enforce the complainant's right to receive the licensee's response during the investigation. The proposed rule has currently been sent to the Rules Committee. Check back here for future updates on the progress of the proposed rule revision. Thanks to Betty Garrity for bringing this to our attention.

Greg Munson, Texas Vet Board Watch founder




JUNE 28, 2010

CITIZEN PROPOSES RULE REVISION AT BOARD MEETING
Revision seeks to automate the process of sending licensee's response to complainant during investigation

AUSTIN, TX - The board held its June meeting on Monday, June 28, 2010. Citizen advocate and Texas Vet Board Watch founder Greg Munson presented a proposed rule revision. Click the link or see video below. (Greg's rule revision speech) The proposed rule revision capitalizes on the Attorney General's Open Records Decision from last November that finally authorizes the complainant's right to see the licensee's response during an investigation. Instead of the complainant having to know to ask for the licensee's response during an investigation, the proposed revision automates this process by having the licensee's response automatically sent to the complainant upon receipt by the board.

Cindy and Greg Munson also addressed the board during the citizen comments portion of the meeting. See video below. (Cindy's speech Greg's speech)Also addressing the board during citizen comments were two complainants and their attorney from Marble Falls, Texas. They were unhappy with the board's dismissal of their complaint. They also requested a copy of the licensee's response this past January during the appeal portion of their complaint while their investigation was still open, yet they never received the licensee's response, even though Attorney General Greg Abbott ruled last November that the licensee's response could be provided to the complainant during the investigation. This is why it's imperative that the proposed rule revision makes it into the board rules. Even though the board is now allowed to provide the licensee's response during an investigation, they STILL did not do so in the Marble Falls complaint. This is appalling behavior on the part of the Texas Vet Board.  Who out there could still possibly believe this board does its job of protecting the public?





FEBRUARY 24, 2010

ATTN. CONCERNED VETERINARY CONSUMERS

ASST. ATTORNEY GENERAL SOMEHOW RULES IN FAVOR OF VET BOARD AGAIN

http://www.oag.state.tx.us/opinions/openrecords/50abbott/orl/2010/pdf/or201002740.pdf

Despite my request for the licensee's response being made while the complaint investigation was still open in May 2006, a request that was never addressed by this board, and despite the assistant attorney general agreeing with me that my request was a valid request, this board was still allowed to withhold from me the licensee's response in our complaint since the complaint is now closed. It should not matter that our complaint is now closed. It was NOT closed when the original request was made, thus making it a valid request that was never addressed by the board. This is outrageous. Mr. Helmcamp, the board's executive director, used to work for the Attorney General's office. One has to wonder if this played a factor in this decision.. If there are any attorneys willing to fight this decision for me, i would sure love to hear from you. - Greg Munson, Texas Vet Board Watch founder.



DECEMBER 15, 2009

ATTN. CONCERNED VETERINARY CONSUMERS


As many of you may be aware, here in Texas we have been anxiously awaiting an official opinion from the Texas Attorney General since July 2008 regarding whether or not the licensee's response to a complaint is confidential. Many complainants have in the past requested the licensee's response and were denied by the board citing confidentiality rules. In June of 2008, I posed the question to the board wondering why - if the complaint file is confidential - a copy of the entire complaint is sent to the licensee, yet the licensee's response is not provided to the complainant. I believe this contributed to TBVME Executive Director Dewey Helmcamp's request for an official opinion regarding the matter from the Attorney General. See Mr. Helmcamp's request here -
 
http://www.oag.state.tx.us/opinions/opinions/50abbott/rq/2008/pdf/RQ0726GA.pdf

 
A few past complainants were asked by the Attorney General's office to provide our comments regarding the request. I personally submitted comments on two occasions regarding the request. My comments can be viewed here -
 
http://texasvetboardwatch.info/comments.html
 
Normally, it takes 6 months for AG opinions to be issued. For reasons that are not known, it took the Texas Attorney General almost 1 1/2 years to issue his opinion, but FINALLY, on November 24, 2009, an opinion was issued. The opinion was issued as an Open Records Decision, rather than as a formal opinion. This is the first Open Records Decision issued in Texas since 2005, which may explain some of the delay. These are not common. The Open Records Decision can be viewed here -
 
http://www.oag.state.tx.us/opinions/openrecords/50abbott/ord/2009/pdf/ord20090683.pdf
 
So, what happened? VICTORY for future complainants as long as the complainant knows to ask for the licensee's response during the investigation. Read the decision for all of the pertinent details.
 
Not addressed in the decision is a complainant's requests for the licensee's response once the complaint has been closed. To clarify this issue, I recently resubmitted a request for the licensee's response in Stempy's complaint that I made in 2006 during the informal appeal process that was never addressed by the board. I received a phone call today from Mr. Helmcamp regarding my request. I may be in a special situation regarding receiving the licensee's response since I have this old request that was never addressed by the board. Mr. Helmcamp stated that he believes if the board releases the licensee's response to us in Stempy's case, that it will trigger many more requests for the licensee's responses in closed cases. Consequently, he informed me that the board today has requested clarification from the Attorney General on whether the board can provide the licensee's response in closed cases to the complainant.
 
You never know how these things will turn out, but I believe the AG will rule in favor of the complainant again. Keep your fingers crossed and stay tuned....
 
Greg Munson
Founder
Texas Vet Board Watch




NOVEMBER 9, 2009

Board sanctions vet. Complainant says 'Justice was NOT served.'
Sanctions woefully inadequate to serve as future deterrent

GRAND PRAIRIE, TX - Pet Owner Jack Wolfson has had more than his share of bad veterinarians through the years. He has previously had three different malpractice complaints dismissed by the Texas Vet Board that he filed for three of his prized Afghan Hounds. Mr. Wolfson publicly addressed the vet board at their meeting back in 2007 about his grievances with the board.

Mr. Wolfson did not want another pet after the death of his last Afghan Hound. He did not think he could endure the pain of any future loss. But, as can happen, Mr. Wolfson ended up with another pet. This pet was 
a change of pace for Mr. Wolfson. He now found himself sharing his life with his first ever cat, affectionately known as 'Katt.'

Katt    My wife and I  both met Katt approximately 2 months before her demise. We were over visiting with Mr.     Wolfson and Katt came right up to us. She was a beautiful and friendly cat.

    Surely disaster could not strike again, could it? Unfortunately, yes it can. I won't tell you all the details     here - I've asked Mr. Wolfson to write in his own words exactly what happened to Katt and you can read     his comments by clicking here - but suffice it to say that Katt died at the hands of yet another bad vet.

    Unlike Mr. Wolfson's first three malpractice complaints with the board, this time the complaint was not     dismissed. The board actually sanctioned the offending vet. See Agreed Order 2009-66 by clicking here.

    Katt died. So what sanctions did the bad vet receive
?

Informal Reprimand.

6 out of 17 continuing education hours must be in internal medicine.

THAT'S IT.

An informal reprimand is treated as such a minor sanction that the board does NOT list it in their online disciplinary record, nor is it reported to the national database. Well, thankfully, those records ARE provided at our sister website - Texas Veterinary Records.

Where is the deterrent value in those sanctions
? Where is the justice?

Informal Reprimands are the 'flavor of the month' for the last 2 years in several cases, even when the pet dies.

Informal Reprimand = ZERO deterrent value.

It's an insult to Mr. Wolfson and Katt and an outrage to the public.

Mr. Wolfson summed things up by stating, "That vet got away with murder. Justice was NOT served.
"

- Greg Munson, Texas Vet Board Watch founder

 



OCTOBER 26, 2009

AUSTIN, TX -  The board held it's October meeting 10/26/2009. There was a rule change made to further protect bad vets in the complaint process. No longer are they required to submit the medical records before seeing a copy of the complaint. Many bad vets can and do alter the medical records after seeing the complaint.

More coming soon..

Meanwhile, here are selected videos from the meeting with my comments included. Click to play - the video might take a few seconds to load - but it will play..

Greg Munson, Texas Vet Board Watch Founder












JUNE 4, 2009

AUSTIN, TX HB1562 , which as noted below, we were originally opposed to, is DEAD for this legislative session. We were opposed to the bill because we felt it did not go far enough. The main issue in this bill that affected Texas pet owners concerned the complainant being allowed to see the licensee's response to a complaint. The new bill, while an improvement over status quo, still made providing the licensee's response optional at the board's discretion. We here at the Texas Vet Board Watch wanted that wording in the new bill to be changed to mandatory that the licensee's response would be provided to the complainant.  In all actuality, our goal was to IMPROVE the bill. We never considered that this bill would not be passed at all. We believed that the new bill would be passed in some form due to the AG opinion we have been awaiting since July 2008. Passing NOTHING and being stuck with status quo was something we NEVER considered. Apparently the TVMA was responsible for killing this bill as there were provisions they did not like. We can only speculate as to what provisions the TVMA was not happy with, but it would not surprise us if providing the licensee's response was a major sticking point. Status quo does NOT allow for the complainant to see the licensee's response and that apparently will not change until at least the next legislative session in 2011. This is a LOSS for Texas pet owners. We still await a ruling from the AG and we expect that to come down sooner rather than later now that the legislative session is over. Stay tuned...



FEBRUARY 21, 2009

ATTENTION ALL TEXAS VET VICTIMS
AND ALL OTHER CONCERNED CONSUMERS OF VETERINARY CARE IN TEXAS
THIS IS AN URGENT MATTER!*
see update above - this bill is DEAD.

AUSTIN, TX - On Friday, February 20, 2009, Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock introduced a bill to the Legislature - HB1562 -  that is NOT in the best interest of Texas pets. This bill was filed as a direct result of the board's request for an attorney general opinion. The AG has yet to render an opinion on this request that was made in JULY 2008. Obviously, they are waiting on this legislation to pass before rendering a ruling. IS THAT BECAUSE A RULING BASED ON THE CURRENT LAW WOULD GO AGAINST THE BOARD? One can only wonder.

THIS NEW BILL MUST NOT BE PASSED AS CURRENTLY WRITTEN!! Texas Vet Victims and all other concerned consumers of veterinary care in Texas need to write your elected representatives and tell them that there MUST be changes to the wording of this bill. If possible, we need Texas vet victims to testify in Austin before the assigned committees. Stay tuned here for updates on when hearings will be held and other information concerning this bill. If you would like more information on what YOU can do to help, please email us.


SPECIFIC CHANGES NEEDED:

(d)  Notwithstanding Subsection (a), the board may:   ('may' MUST be changed to 'shall')

(1)  disclose a complaint to the affected license holder;

(2)  provide to a complainant the license holder's response to the complaint,  if providing the response is considered by the board to be necessary to investigate the complaint; and (the highlighted portion MUST be removed AND replaced with the following wording: and provide for the complainant an opportunity for rebuttal to the license holder's response,)




NOW SHOWING:
FEBRUARY 12, 2009

Austin, TX - Greg Munson, co-founder of the Texas Vet Board Watch, and Julie Catalano, founder of the Veterinary Abuse Network, address the Texas Veterinary Board at the board's public meeting:





Austin - Greg and Cindy Munson, of Mesquite, Texas, co-founders of the Texas Vet Board Watch website, attend the Texas Veterinary Board's public meeting on 2/12/09. Mr. Munson addressed the board. (see above) It is the Munson's 8th consecutive meeting in attendance. Afterward, Mr. & Mrs. Munson met with their state representative, first term Democrat Robert Miklos, (see below) to discuss veterinary board reform. Julie Catalano, of San Antonio, Texas, founder of the Veterinary Abuse Network, was also in attendance.










JANUARY 8, 2009

IT'S 2009

Rest assured that the Texas Vet Board Watch is committed to the continued monitoring of the corrupt practices of the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.

Is this the year of change?


The State Legislature is back in session this month and we will monitor any legislation pertaining to the Texas Vet Board or the TVMA. We are inspired by fellow pet advocates in Washington state who are proposing a Veterinary Board reform bill in their state. We hope to follow suit here in Texas as soon as we can find animal friendly legislators. We are calling on our elected officials to 'step up to the plate'  for all Texas pets and make veterinary accountability a reality in Texas. If you are interested in assisting with this project, please contact us.
Greg Munson
Texas Vet Board Watch Founder



Audio/Video from the 10/16/08 Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners Meeting

Austin, TX - Part One - Hear Greg and Cindy Munson, co-founders of this website,  address the Texas Vet Board at the October 16, 2008 board meeting in Austin, Texas. The camera is focused on Dewey Helmcamp - Executive Director - on the left - and Dr. Bud Alldredge - Board President - on the right. (More board meeting video coming soon). Click play:




Austin, TX - Part  Two - This video shows the tension in the boardroom because San Antonio TV station KSAT has just arrived and is rolling tape! (See the KSAT news story below on the left). Click play:



Austin, TX - Part  Three - Dewey Helmcamp's Executive Director's report with comments from Greg Munson. Click play: (Ignore the 'continued on next video' comments - I thought I would have to split the video in 3 - but I did not have to do that after all). Click play:






AUGUST 5, 2008

Comments Submitted to Texas Attorney General
CRUCIAL AG Opinion due around December


Austin - Dewey Helmcamp, Executive Director of the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, has requested an Attorney General Opinion concerning whether a complaint filed against a licensed veterinarian is subject to disclosure to the licensee, complainant, and/or the general public. Ms. Nancy Fuller, Chair of the Opinion Committee at the AG's office, contacted us and invited us to submit our comments concerning this matter. This opinion will have far-reaching implications for shaping the future policies of this Board.


Read the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners position:  CLICK HERE
Read Texas Vet Board Watch Founder Greg Munson's submitted comments and position:  CLICK HERE


 NOW AVAILABLE!
Through the Years: A Glimpse in Time at the Texas Veterinary Board
Prior Attorney General Rulings / Opinions concerning the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners .

OPEN RECORD LETTER RULINGS

OR-1991-0439
OR-1992-0284
OR-1993-0125
OR-1993-0369
OR-1993-0364
OR-1995-1388
OR-1996-0754
OR-1996-1349
OR-2000-2924
OR-2003-4969
OR-2006-10465
OR-2007-12673
OR-2007-0985
OR-2007-3449
OR-2007-10543
OR-2007-12204
OR-2007-16456
OR-2008-3639
OR-2008-12977
OR-2008-3813
OR-2008-3815
OR-2008-4740
OR-2008-4905
OR-2008-5273
OR-2008-8726
OR-2008-8771
OR-2008-10987
OR-2008-10990
OR-2008-13249

LETTER OPINIONS

LO-1955-0231
LO-1965-0384
LO-1990-0109
LO-1995-0044

ATTORNEY GENERAL OPINIONS

1983-0046
1985-0339
1986-0426
1987-0656
1998-0498
2001-0421
2007-0547


LOOK AT THIS!

TEXAS VETERINARY RECORDS - DISCIPLINARY SUMMARY*
Check the disciplinary records of Texas veterinarians

www.texasveterinaryrecords.com

Texas Veterinary Records - Disciplinary Records




RED ALERT!!
JUNE 19, 2008

VET BOARD MEETING UPDATE:

Below will most likely be the LAST complaint log we ever receive. Since the Board did not like providing this public log, they simply voted to delete it from existence. Gone forever.

CONGRATULATIONS, Texas Vet Board. You have now achieved even new levels of sleaziness. If this is the example you hope to be setting for other state Boards, let's hope they were not paying attention.

Dewey Helmcamp was asked where he thought the Texas Vet Board would be in six years. We would like to answer that question with just one word..



DISBANDED.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Is that the best solution? No, probably not. But if this Board continues to function as is, it may be the ONLY solution. We need a Board that will protect our pets by punishing ALL bad vets and the punishment needs to be a strong enough deterrent to keep them from malpracticing our pets in the future. This Board doesn't know the meaning of a strong deterrent. Peruse the disciplinary records and see for yourself the paltry punishment doled out by this board on the VERY RARE occasions that ANYTHING is done to a BAD vet. Most likely, the BAD vet walks away unscathed; the complaint dismissed as no violation found. We could understand this being the result for many complaints. But NINETY TWO PERCENT? That SCREAMS bias to anyone paying attention. And, yes - this Board is biased.

Despite the much improved reception we received at this Board meeting, with multiple members and employees showing some type of concern for our issues, at the end of the day - the song remained the same. ALL of the outrageous proposed rules (see our comments on the rules below) passed and now become law. Despite being told that 'we agree with you' and that 'this is a different Board' - the board members turned right around and slapped the public in the face by passing all of the proposed rules.

Board members can be nice to us all they want. Or, they can treat us rudely as they did back in February. But the BOTTOM LINE here is that WE DON'T CARE how the Board treats us. It's ALL about how the Board's licensees are treating our animals and what the Board is doing about it. That answer remains UNCHANGED - as in SLIM and NONE.

Is this Board protecting you and your pets from the MANY BAD VETS? The answer to this question REMAINS a resounding NO!

We will continue in our pursuit for reform in the laws and attitudes governing this corrupt regulatory agency that leaves untold numbers of Texas animals at risk and in harm's way every single day. We ask all those concerned about animal welfare to join us in our fight for change. Your beloved pet is counting on you.



- Greg Munson
Texas Vet Board Watch founder.



NEWSFLASH!
JUNE 9, 2008

Despite 2 Prior Rulings from the AG's office (see below), the Board has AGAIN denied our request for the Complaint Log pending yet ANOTHER ruling from the AG's office.

UPDATE 8/14/08:

AG rules in our favor again. OR-2008-10987 


NEWSFLASH!
JUNE 5, 2008
Gov. Perry Appoints Three to
State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners


On May 16th, Texas Governor Rick Perry appointed 3 new members to six year terms on the Texas Vet Board. See the press release here. The three new Board members are:
  1. John Clader, DVM of Pleasanton, veterinarian and owner of Chaparral Veterinary Center, who replaces Robert Lastovica, DVM of Fredericksburg. Good riddance!
  2. David Kercheval of Grandview, director of marketing for Agricultural Workers Mutual Auto Insurance, is the new public Board Member, replacing Dawn Reveley of Blanco. 
  3. David Rosberg Jr., DVM of Mason, veterinarian and owner of Hill Country Veterinary Hospital, who replaces Guy Johnsen, DVM of El Paso. Good riddance!
In addition, Gov. Perry has named current Board member Bud Alldredge Jr., DVM, of Sweetwater, as the new President of the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. Texas Vet Board Watch founder and citizen advocate Greg Munson, of Mesquite, also applied for the public Board member position, but was not chosen by Gov. Perry. Of course, Mr. Munson did not make campaign contributions to Gov. Perry's campaigns for office, whichs appears to be a prerequisite in order to be appointed. As usual, it's not about our pets down in Austin, but rather, it's all about money and who you know......it's the 'Good Ole' Boy' Network functioning at it's sleazy finest.




RED ALERT!!
MAY 30, 2008
 MAJOR Rule Changes to be Voted On at June 2008 Board Meeting.
PUBLIC COMMENTS PAST DUE!
email:  vet.board@tbvme.state.tx.us



Greg Munson's comments in RED on proposed rule changes:

Language will be revised in §575.27 to further clarify the Board practice and procedure involving complaints against licensees and to remove subsections involving complaint logs, There is no reason to remove the complaint log from the rules. This an attempt to further limit the information that is available to the public. The Attorney General has twiced ruled against the Board withholding this information. Can't withhold it? Just delete it! Right, Mr. Helmcamp? I STRONGLY advise the board to vote AGAINST the removal of the complaint log. investigation of complaints, informal conferences, contested case hearings and contingency plans for Board members. The issue of investigation of complaints will be addressed in proposed new §575.28. The issue of informal conferences and contingency plans for Board members will be addressed in proposed new §575.29. The issue of Board procedure regarding contested case hearings will be addressed in proposed new §575.30.

Technical Changes

Throughout Chapter 575, numerous grammatical and technical changes will be made, such as replacing the term "Executive Director" with the term "Office of the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners" and replacing the term "Director of Enforcement" in some places with the term
"Executive Director's designee." This gives entirely to much authority and discretion to the Executive Director. Why is this new term needed? This is my opinion anywhere these terms appear in this document. Also, statutory citation references will be updated and standardized to reflect current law and Texas Register formatting requirements.

§575.4.Conduct and Decorum.

(a) All meetings of the Board and its committees are open to the public unless such meetings are conducted in executive session in accordance with the Chapter 551, Government Code, or Chapter 801, Occupations Code.

(b) Each party, witness, attorney, or other representative shall conduct
themselves [himself] in all proceedings with proper dignity, courtesy, and respect for the Board and all other parties. Disorderly conduct will not be tolerated. Members of the public shall not address Board members during meetings unless recognized by the Board's presiding officer pursuant to a published agenda item.  This leaves too much up to the imagination. Who decides what is “proper?” Now the Board is trying to take away the Public's ONLY opportunity to address those that judged their complaint by not being able to address Board members? They don't answer our questions, but the public would like to hope that they gave them something to think about anyway. This is a step in the WRONG direction. I STRONGLY advise the Board to vote against this wording. Persons seeking to position microphones, video cameras or other equipment for the purposes of recording Board proceedings may not disrupt the meeting or disturb participants.

(c) Attorneys and other representatives of parties shall observe and practice the standards of the ethical behavior prescribed for their professions.

(d)
The Board's presiding officer may exclude from a meeting any person who, after being duly warned, persists in disorderly, abusive or disruptive behavior. So the Board's presiding officer COULD determine ANY behavior that he/she does not like is disorderly, abusive, or disruptive. Too broad of a power stroke. I understand that veterinarians are used to muzzling things, but come on......

§575.7.Presentation of Proposal for Decision.

(a) Notice of oral argument. All parties and the ALJ who has issued a proposal for decision shall be given notice of the opportunity to attend and provide oral argument concerning a proposal for decision before the board. Notice shall be sent by hand delivery, regular mail, certified mail - return receipt requested, courier service, or registered service to the ALJ's office and the parties' addresses of record.

(b) Arguments before the Board. The order of the proceeding shall be as follows:

(1) the ALJ shall present and explain the proposal for decision;

(2) the party adversely affected shall briefly state the party's reasons for being so affected supported by the evidence of record

(3) the other party or parties shall be given the opportunity to respond;

(4) the party with the burden of proof shall have the right to close;

(5) board members may question any party as to any matter relevant to the proposal for decision and evidence presented at the hearing;

(6) at the end of all arguments by the parties, the board may deliberate in closed session and shall determine the charges on the merits and take action on a final decision in open session.

(c) Limitation. A party
shall not inquire into the mental processes used by the board in arriving at its decision, WHY NOT? Why does this need to be a secret? nor be disruptive of the orderly procedure of the board's routines.

§575.22.Reinstatement of Veterinary Licenses.

(a) A person whose license to practice veterinary medicine has been cancelled or revoked, whether by voluntary action or by disciplinary action of the Board,
may after five (5) years from the effective date of such cancellation or revocation, This should depend on the reason why the license was revoked! What if this person intentionally harmed patients? BAD change. petition the Board for reinstatement of the license, unless another time is provided in the cancellation or revocation order, or unless no provision was made in the order for reinstatement. This rule does not apply to licensees who let their licenses lapse for non-payment of renewal fees or licensees against whom a cancellation or revocation proceeding is not pending before the Board or in any other jurisdiction.

§575.27.Complaints--Receipt[ , Investigation and Disposition ].

(a) Complaints against licensees.

(1) All complaints filed by the public against board licensees must be in writing on a complaint form provided by the board and signed by the complainant. If a complaint is transmitted to the board orally or by means other than in writing and the complaint alleges facts showing a continuing or imminent threat to the public welfare, the requirement of a written complaint may be waived until later in the investigative process.

(2) The board may file a complaint on its own initiative.

(3) [(2)] Complaints by the board's enforcement section shall be initiated by the opening of a complaint file.

[(3) The board shall maintain a log of complaints to whom the board sends a complaint form.] Whats between the brackets is being removedThere is no reason to remove the complaint log from the rules. This an attempt to further limit the information that is available to the public. The Attorney General has twiced ruled against the Board withholding this information. Can't withhold it? Just delete it! Right, Mr. Helmcamp? I STRONGLY advise the board to vote AGAINST the removal of the complaint log.

(4) Anonymous written complaints will normally not be investigated, but may be investigated if sufficient information exists for the board to file a complaint under paragraph (2) of this subsection.
[will be logged and filed for information purposes only.] Whats between the brackets is being removedThere is no reason to remove thecomplaint log from the rules. This an attempt to further limit the information that is available to the public. The Attorney General has twiced ruled against the Board withholding this information. Can't withhold it? Just delete it! Right, Mr. Helmcamp? I STRONGLY advise the board to vote AGAINST the removal of the complaint log.

(c) [(g)] Report to the board of dismissed complaints. The executive director
or the executive director's designee [director of enforcement ] whats in brackets is being removedThis gives entirely to much authority and discretion to the Executive Director. Why is this new term needed? This is my opinion anywhere these terms appear in this document. shall ORALLY (my change – ORALLY advise the Board in OPEN session so the public can HEAR the disposition of their complaint.) advise the board at each scheduled meeting of the complaints dismissed since the last meeting. [The information will consist of a summary of the allegations, investigation conducted, reasons for dismissal, and file number.] Whats between the brackets is being removed This information should remain and be given ORALLY in OPEN session to the board.

§575.28.Complaints--Investigations. This is the new section. Notice the omission of the complaint log. See previous comments. Notice the other omissions as previously mentioned.

(3) Upon receipt of a complaint, a letter of acknowledgment will be
promptly What amount of time is promptly? mailed to the complainant.

(4) Complaints will be reviewed every thirty (30) days to determine the status of the complaint. Parties to a complaint will be informed on the status of a complaint at approximately 45 day intervals.

(5) Upon receipt of a complaint, the director of enforcement,
or their designee, This gives entirely to much authority and discretion to the Executive Director. Why is this new term needed? This is my opinion anywhere these terms appear in this document. will review it and may change "may" to "shall" like it was! interview the complainant to obtain additional information. If the director of enforcement concludes that the complaint resulted from a misunderstanding, is outside the jurisdiction of the board, or is without merit, the director of enforcement shall recommend through the general counsel to the executive director that an investigation not be initiated. If the executive director concurs with the recommendation, the complainant will be so notified. If the executive director does not concur with the recommendations, an investigation will be initiated

(6) The director of enforcement will assign an investigator to the complaint, and the investigator will send a request for patient records to the licensee. Once the investigator receives the patient records, the investigator will send a copy of the complaint to the licensee, along with a request that the licensee respond to the complaint in writing within 21 days of receipt of the complaint.

(7) After the licensee's response to the complaint is received,
 It is my opinion that the complainant should have an opportunity to respond to the licensee's response. Otherwise, the licensee can make up any story they choose with NOBODY to dispute it. That is WRONG! further investigation may be necessary to corroborate the information provided by the complainant and the licensee. During the investigation, the investigator shall contact this should be INTERVIEW not CONTACT the complainant. Other persons, such as second opinion or consulting veterinarians, may be contacted. The investigator may request additional medical opinions, supporting documents, and interviews with other witnesses.

(8) Upon the completion of an investigation, the investigator shall prepare a report of investigation (ROI) for review by the director of enforcement, who in turn shall present the ROI to the executive director along with a conclusion as to the probability that a violation(s) exists.

(A) If the executive director determines from the ROI that the probability of a violation involving medical judgment or practice exists, the director of enforcement shall forward a copy of the ROI and complaint file to the board secretary and
another board member this has always been the VP – why the need for more secrecy? (the "veterinarian members") who will determine whether or not the complaint should be closed, further investigation is warranted, or if the licensee should be invited to respond to the complaint at an informal conference at the board offices.

(B) If the probable violation does not involve medical judgment or practice (example: administrative matters such as continuing education and federal and state controlled substances certificates), the executive director shall forward the complaint file to a committee of the executive director, director of enforcement, the investigator assigned to the complaint, and general counsel (the "staff committee"), which shall determine whether or not the complaint should be dismissed, investigated further, or settled.

(C) If the veterinarian members determine that a violation has not occurred, the executive director or director of enforcement or the
executive director's designee see previous comments, shall notify the complainant and licensee in writing of the conclusion and that the complaint is dismissed.

(D) If the veterinarian members conclude that a probable violation(s) exists, the executive director or the
executive director's designee see previous comments, shall invite the licensee and complainant, in writing, to an informal conference to discuss the complaint made against the licensee. If the veterinarian members cannot agree to dismiss or refer the complaint to an informal conference, the complaint will be automatically referred to an informal conference. The letter invitation to the licensee must include a list of the specific allegations of the complaint.

(E) A complaint considered by the staff committee shall be referred to an informal conference if:

(i) the staff committee determines that the complaint should not be dismissed or settled;
(ii) the staff committee is unable to reach an agreed settlement; or
(iii) the licensee who is the subject of the complaint requests that the complaint be referred to an informal conference.

§575.29.Informal Conferences.

(a) The informal conference is the last stage in the investigation of a complaint. The licensee has the right to waive his or her attendance at the conference. The licensee may be represented by counsel.

(b) The board may be represented at the informal conference by an enforcement committee of the executive director, the veterinarian members and a public member of the board, the director of enforcement, the investigator assigned to the complaint, and the board's general counsel. The complainant
ADD And the complainant's legal counsel! and the licensee and the licensee's legal counsel may attend the conference. Any other attendees are allowed at the discretion of the executive director. The executive director or the director of enforcement shall conduct the conference.

(c) Contingency. The board president shall appoint another licensee board member to assume the duties of the board secretary in the complaint review and informal conference process in the event the board secretary is unable to serve in the capacity set out in this section.

(d) Procedure.
Subject to the discretion of the executive director,too much power – why is this needed?  the following procedure will be followed at the informal conference. The executive director shall explain the purpose of the conference and the rights of the participants, lead the discussion of the allegations of the complaint, and explain the possible courses of action at the conclusion of the conference. The licensee will be asked to respond to the allegations. The complainant will be allowed to make comments relevant to the allegations. allegations should be "complaint"Comments of the licensee and complainant must be addressed to the person conducting the conference and not to each other. In the interest of maintaining decorum, the licensee or complainant may be asked to leave the room while the other is talking with the committee. Why the need for secrecy? The enforcement committee members may ask questions of the licensee and complainant in order to fully develop the complaint record.

(e) At
the conclusion of the informal conference, the enforcement committee shall determine if a violation has occurred. If the enforcement committee determines that a violation has not occurred, the enforcement committee,
or their designee, see previous commentwill dismiss the complaint, and will advise all parties of the decision and the reasons why the complaint was dismissed.

(f) If the enforcement committee determines that a violation has occurred and that disciplinary action is warranted, the executive director,
or their designee, see previous commentwill advise the licensee of the alleged violations and offer the licensee a settlement in the form of an agreed order that specifies the disciplinary action and monetary penalty. With the agreement of the licensee, why does the licensee have to agree? Please explain. the enforcement committee may recommend that the licensee refund an amount not to exceed the amount the complainant paid to the licensee instead of or in addition to imposing an administrative penalty on the licensee. The executive director, or their designee, see previous commentmust inform the licensee that the licensee has a right to a hearing before an administrative law judge on the finding of the occurrence of the violation, the type of disciplinary action, and/or the amount of the recommended penalty.

(g) Within the time period prescribed, the licensee must submit a written response to the board:

(1) accepting the settlement offer and recommended disciplinary action, or
(2) requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge.

(h) Additional negotiations may be held between board staff and the licensee or the authorized representative. In consultation with the board representatives, as available, the recommendations of the board representatives may be subsequently modified based on new information, a change of circumstances, or to expedite a resolution in the interest of protecting the public.

(i) The board representative(s) shall be consulted and must concur with any subsequent substantive modifications before any recommendations are sent to the full board for approval.

(j) Board staff may communicate directly with the board representative(s) after the ISC for the purpose of discussing settlement of the case.

(k) If the licensee accepts the settlement offer by signing the agreed order, the agreed order will be docketed for board action at the next regularly scheduled board meeting.

(l) The recommendations may be adopted, modified, or rejected by the board.

(m) If the board approves the agreed order with amendments, the executive director,
or their designee, see previous commentshall mail the amended agreed order to the licensee and the licensee shall have fourteen (14) days from receipt to accept the amended agreed order by signing and returning it to the board. If a licensee does not sign an amended agreed order or does not respond within the fourteen (14) days, the complaint will be scheduled for a hearing before an administrative law judge. If the board rejects the agreed order, the complaint may be scheduled for a hearing before an administrative law judge, or the board may direct the executive director to take other appropriate action.

§575.60.Alternative Dispute Resolution.

(a) The board's policy is to encourage the resolution and early settlement of internal and external disputes, including contested cases, through voluntary settlement processes, which may include any procedure or combination of procedures described by Chapter 154, Civil Practice and Remedies Code. Any ADR procedure used to resolve disputes before the board shall comply with the requirements of Chapter 2009, Government Code, and any model guidelines for the use of ADR issued by the State Office of Administrative Hearings.

(b) The board's general counsel or their designee shall be the board's dispute resolution coordinator (DRC). The DRC shall perform the following functions, as required:

(1) coordinate the implementation of the policy set out in subsection (a) of this section;

(2) serve as a resource for any staff training or education needed to implement the ADR procedures; and

(3) collect data to evaluate the effectiveness of ADR procedures implemented by the board.

(c) The board, a committee of the board, a respondent in a disciplinary matter pending before the board, the executive director, or a board employee engaged in a dispute with the executive director or another employee, Why is the complainant not included in this list? may request that the contested matter be submitted to ADR. The request must be in writing, be addressed to the DRC, and state the issues to be determined. The person requesting ADR and the DRC will determine which method of ADR is most appropriate. If the person requesting ADR is the respondent in a disciplinary proceeding, the executive director shall determine if the board will participate in ADR or proceed with the board's normal disciplinary processes.

§575.62.Negotiated Rulemaking.

(a) Notice of a proposed new rule or amendment of any existing rule shall be made in accordance with the provisions of §2001.023 and §2001.024 of the Administrative Procedures Act.

(b) The board's policy is to encourage the use of negotiated rulemaking for the adoption of board rules in appropriate situations.

(c) The board's general counsel
or their designee see previous commentshall be the board's negotiated rulemaking coordinator (NRC). The NRC shall perform the following functions, as required



RED ALERT!!
FEBRUARY 14, 2008
FIRE DEWEY HELMCAMP!
Dewey Helmcamp
This man, the Executive Director of this 3 ring circus, has single-handedly set back this Board to the Dark Ages when it comes to accountability for the Board's actions in dealing with consumer malpractice complaints and in dealing with the public. In his 15 months as Executive Director, he has made sure that the Board is operating as a puppet for the TVMA and in increasing the unfairness to EVEN FURTHER protect guilty veterinarians, and he's far from finished with this diabolical subterfuge. This man is nothing short of the most despicable bureaucratic sycophant this Board has ever employed. Check back very soon for a FULL EXPOSE' on this evildoer's activities that puts:
ALL TEXAS PETS AT RISK!

Here is an email sent by Greg Munson, Texas Vet Board Watch founder, to Dewey Helmcamp in the wake of the Board's  decision at their February 14, 2008 PUBLIC meeting to limit citizen comments at Board meetings to three minutes and to remove from the meeting anyone who violated the three minute rule. Mr Helmcamp has not responded to this email: (Note: Julie Catalano is the founder of www.vetabusenetwork.com )

From: Greg & Cindy Munson
Sent: Sunday, February 17, 2008 1:19 PM
To: Dewey Helmcamp
Subject: PUBLIC Board Meeting


Mr. Helmcamp,
 
I am extremely disappointed in the Board's behavior towards Ms. Catalano and myself at the Board Meeting last Thursday. In particular, I am disappointed with you.
 
It clearly states that these Board Meetings can extend to Friday if necessary. In the 5 Board meetings I have attended, that has never happened. In fact, last October the meeting was over by 3pm. Why the decision to enforce a 3 minute limit when there has always been plenty of time for comments and for the Board to conduct its business?
 
Wouldn't it have been much more reasonable for the Board to state that this would be enforced starting at the June 2008 board meeting, considering our speeches were already prepared?
 
The only ones being disruptive and acting without respect were you, your staff, and Dr. Allen. How rude of you - in the middle of Ms. Catalano's speech - to get up and come speak to a member of the audience - distracting all who were trying to listen. How rude of Dr. Allen to interrupt Ms. Catalano to ask when her records were from. Did you stop her timer during Dr. Allen's rude comments? No you did not. By the way, Ms. Catalano's comments were VERY relevant considering the Board still does not act 92% of the time - including for record keeping violations.
 
As for my speech, I waited until my handouts were distributed before beginning my speech - and you counted that time against me - not fair. That would have been more than enough time to read my last 3 sentences - which if you would have been following along with the handout and paying attention - you would have known that I was almost done - instead of rudely interrupting me and sending in your goon squad. In fact, I finished and still even thanked the Board, despite your deplorable conduct.
 
Why is it that you are limiting citizen comments to three minutes, but you never limit members of TVMA or other vets or lawyers who come to speak to the Board? In my book, that's discrimination.
 
Dr. Allen asked that certain people show the Board the respect it deserves. I am assuming that was targeted at us. First of all, the Board has not earned one iota of respect by its actions. Secondly, despite the Board deserving zero respect, we have always conducted ourselves in a respectful manner - introducing ourselves and always thanking the Board at the end of our speeches.
 
Last June, it was the Board attempting to skip several members of the public that caused some of us to speak out to make the Board aware you were skipping others. If we hadn't, your Board would have skipped right over them without so much as a second thought.
 
The Board may not like the content of our speeches, but we speak the truth and we have every right to speak on subjects that we feel are of utmost importance.
 
Could you please direct me to the Board rule that limits citizen comments to three minutes? I would appreciate it.
 
You could make this a much more pleasant experience for all parties involved by working WITH us, instead of AGAINST us. All any of us seek to do is make the complaint process FAIR for all parties involved to ensure the future safety of Texas pets.
 
Your failure to cooperate and your actions to further protect guilty veterinarians is disgusting. If you will not cooperate with us to achieve fairness, then in the interest of saving Texas pet's lives, it would be best for you to resign as Executive Director. You have already got the Board sued during your short tenure. Believe me, we ALL know that you are not trying to protect the horses from equine dentists. You are ONLY trying to protect veterinarian's bank accounts. That is called greed.
 
You have continuing talks with the TVMA concerning who knows what - which should be a conflict of interest. If you lend an ear to the TVMA, you should extend the same courtesy to citizen advocates. A FAIR complaint process is not an unreasonable demand.
 
Greg Munson
Mesquite, Texas


RED ALERT!!
DECEMBER 15, 2007

WHERE IS THE NEWSLETTER?


The Texas Vet Board publishes a newsletter in March, July, & November of each year. This newsletter has, in the past, contained the latest disciplinary actions. The Board has yet to release the November 2007 newsletter, thus further depriving the public of vital information. We will post here once the Board finally sends out this newsletter. This is just another example of the Board protecting Bad Vets.......it's what the Texas Vet Board does best. All Texas pets and animals suffer the consequences.


NEWSFLASH!
NEWSLETTER UPDATE:

January 2, 2008

The Newsletter now appears on the Board's website. Many citizens on the list to receive a copy of the newsletter did not receive their copy. The Newsletter is still dated November 2007 even though it has just now appeared on the Board's website. Did the Board first send this out exclusively to the veterinary community? Did the Board purposely withold the Newsletter from the public at large? Stay tuned....


RED ALERT!!
NOVEMBER 8, 2007
REFORMATTED DISCIPLINARY RECORDS!
Dewey Helmcamp, Executive Director of the Board, continues making changes that have a NEGATIVE impact on companion animals/pets and their owners/guardians here in Texas. The disciplinary records have now been reformatted and the new version REMOVES the summary of each violation. This summary section was THE most important section, other than the vet's name, on the ENTIRE document. The summaries have been replaced with all encompassing 'violation codes.' If you are as outraged as we are, email or call Mr. Helmcamp directly and let him know that this change is UNACCEPTABLE. Click below to see the comparison of old vs. new to see for yourself.

OLD VS. NEW COMPARISON

EMAIL Dewey Helmcamp and complain:
dewey.helmcamp@tbvme.state.tx.us

CALL Dewey Helmcamp and complain:
1.800.821.3205  or   512.305.7555




NEWSFLASH!
OCTOBER 10, 2007

Board denies Public Information Request for *Complaint Log* - AGAIN!!
(pending Attorney General Opinion)
* - Complaint Log is actually the log of citizens who call the Board and request a complaint form*
Texas Attorney General has already ruled against the Board once for a previous request of the *Complaint Log*.


Dewey Helmcamp
DEWEY HELMCAMP
Dewey Helmcamp, Executive Director of the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, is determined to keep this public information private. Why? Perhaps the Board is afraid of being further exposed for the fraud that is the complaint process masquerading as "public protector," when the process is completely and unabashedly pro-veterinarian. Click below to see the Board's communication detailing the lengths Mr. Helmcamp and the Board will go to in an attempt to keep to the PUBLIC *complaint log* private:


* - Complaint Log is actually the log of citizens who call the Board and request a complaint form*




Click to read:
8/20/07 - Attorney General rules Board must release Complaint Log - 1st RULING
12/14/07 - Attorney General rules Board must release Complaint Log AGAIN - 2nd RULING


NEWSFLASH!
AUGUST 28, 2007

Challenging Texas’ Elitist Veterinary Cartel
Institute for Justice files suit against the Texas Veterinary Board

National public interest law firm files suit on behalf of equine dental practitioners and Texas horse owners
challenging the licensing scheme as a violation of Texas law and the Texas Constitution.



Independent and self-reliant Texans have been taking care of their horses for a long time without unnecessary government meddling.  But bureaucrats in Austin have concocted a monopolistic licensing scheme to protect a cartel of veterinarians that puts Texas entrepreneurs out of work while forcing horse owners to pay more for lower-quality care.


Read the full story here.


NEWSFLASH!
APRIL 23, 2008
Institute for Justice files SECOND suit against the Texas Veterinary Board

The Institute for Justice filed a second lawsuit in Travis County District Court on behalf of five new equine dental practitioners.  This new lawsuit seeks to hold the Board accountable for its actions and make clear that handing out monopolies to state-licensed veterinarians to perform a service for which most of them are untrained and ill-equipped is not a proper or legitimate government function. On behalf of equine dental practitioners, IJ is challenging the licensing scheme as a violation of Texas law and the Texas Constitution.


Read the full story here.

CHECK BACK FOR UPDATES




Take a look at the "Compact with Texas," straight from the Board's website:

Compact with Texas

The Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners is the State's agency that regulates the practice of veterinary medicine by licensing and regulating veterinarians. It also takes action against non-licensed persons who violate the Veterinary Licensing Act by practicing without a license. The Board licenses individuals by verification of their credentials and examination. Those who meet the minimum qualifications and pass the required examinations receive a license that is renewed annually. The agency receives and investigates complaints against veterinarians and persons practicing without a license. The Board sanctions licensees who have been found to have violated the Board's rules and the Act. Cases involving practicing without a license are investigated and, if a violation is found, the Executive Director first seeks voluntary compliance by getting the person to sign a cease and desist order. If further violations occur, the law requires these cases be prosecuted by a county or district attorney.

The Board and its staff are committed to excellence in their service to the public and the veterinary profession. The Board's first priority is to protect the public. It must maintain high standards for veterinarians who seek licensure in Texas, as well as high standards for those who are already in practice. The Board also has a commitment to its licensees by keeping them informed about the law, its rules, and related information........

Notice the second sentence of the second paragraph. The Board's FIRST priority is to protect the public. If that is the case, then why in the world would the complainant NEVER get to see how the respondent vet replied to a complaint against them? Why in the world would the complainant not be allowed to communicate with the reviewing vets of the Board and face the threat of dismissal if they did communicate? The respondent vet can communicate whatever he/she wants with the reviewing vet/s. The respondent vet gets to see the complaint submitted against them. Since the complainant never gets to see the respondent vet's "version of events," who is there to dispute any  inaccuracies and falsehoods submitted by the respondent vet? If the reviewing vet/s only talk to the respondent vet and not the complainant, just exactly how does the reviewing vet/s determine that he/she is receiving the truth from the respondent vet? They are certainly not receiving/soliciting input from the complainants.....it's not allowed. Go figure. Who knows the case as well as the complainant? A responding vet facing the threat of discipline against his/her license can easily make up any version of events they desire and alter the records to match. The complainant would have no idea that this occured because of the current state of the rules, other than receiving a copy of the altered records from the respondent vet. How can a complainant rebut or dispute outright lies submitted by a guilty vet if they are never even allowed to see the vet's version of events? If the respondent vet has lied in and altered the records, you can be reasonably sure that they also lied to the Board. Protect the public? We don't think so. It's pretty obvious who the Board is protecting.  



Here is a chart detailing how the deck is stacked against the complainant and in favor of the respondent vet:



** - The "we" referred to in the chart is the experience of Greg and Cindy Munson. See Stempy's Story for complete details.



Update - May 2007

The Board continues to thumb it's nose at the citizens of Texas. It's an absolute OUTRAGE that this continues to happen, leaving untold numbers of animals in this state in danger by failing to act on valid complaints.

The following letter was sent to Betty Garrity from Stefani Olsen of The Toonces Project (yet another Vet victim from the state of Maryland) in the wake of the Texas Vet Board's dismissal of Bo Bo Bear's complaint. The letter is reprinted here with permission from Stefani Olsen. This editorial really speaks VOLUMES about the problems facing complainants seeking JUSTICE for the harm done to their beloved pets by negligent vets. Thank you for sharing this, Stefani!

Betty,

I am so disheartened. I guess there was a part of me that hoped that now, as they know people are watching, they might have acted on your case. I think it is a big "F-U" to the citizen activists who are pushing for change -- and you are one of them -- rather than a verdict on your particular case.

I am beginning to believe it is mostly discretionary, psychological , and strategic -- the complainants they take action for are the ones they feel they are stepping in on behalf of -- and there are three conditions that must exist in order for them to feel like doing that.

1) The complainant must not say much more than the facts, must not editorialize or advocate strongly on his or her own behalf, and must present the case in a mealy mouthed pleading, passive, helpless fashion, play "dumb," demonstrating little assertiveness or sophistication. If the complainant argues his or her own case forcefully, passionately, then the boards immediately feel they are defending (in advance) their own actions [or lack thereof] against the complainant rather than acting on behalf of the complainant, and immediately go into defense mode, where they begin to look for justifications to do nothing at all.

2) The complainant must not demonstrate in advance that he or she has any formed opinions about the board or the likelihood of justice (esp. not negative ones, but neither high expectations nor true advance knowledge of their history of non-action)

3) The licensee must not be powerful, have connections, or have a good lawyer, or be a member of a politically powerful group in the state.

Only if all of those conditions are met is there any chance of action at all. Even then, if the sun rises at 6:43 am instead of 6:46, they might just yawn and dismiss.

Of course what gets lost in all this is the TRUTH and objective enforcement of standards. Their decisions have nothing to do with the truth. They do what they feel like doing, and then rationalize it, because only they have access to the basis of their decisions, so they can tell anyone anything they want and no one has the information to call them on it.

There is no proportionality to what they do, no rhyme or reason. This is true in my state (Maryland) as well. I was shocked this week to get disciplinary records that showed that they issued two fines of around $2,000 last year, yet Katz was fined only $250. Where is the proportionality? The facts don't support it.

The nonsensical actions of the Texas board and failure to fairly enforce is well demonstrated by Greg's table "Alleged vs. Past" infractions and actions.

The lid has got to be blown off the process, because they flip the bird to people like us.

Like it or not, we are going to have to build political connections to begin to neutralize some of those THREE conditions. And put the unfairness of their actions out there for everyone to see.

The vets are only a problem because the boards are a problem. If the boards were taking consistent and fair action on the merits, the vets would cease to be the problem that they are. It's the boards that allow them to malpractice our pets.

In your case, I'm betting that the vet's insurance company lawyers told the board that the vet was suing you for defamation, and used very strong and threatening language with the board (not that they would really have to) that any decision the board took on your case would be challenged by them, because they are not going to let a decision stand when it would help your defense. When the board is so clearly not invested enough in their own mission, why would they want the trouble? That threat alone would be enough to make them dismiss.

The board probably will dismiss any case against a vet who has already sued for defamation, not wanting their own decision to be raised by the defense. They are little motivated to take action in all but the most egregious cases anyway, and they certainly wouldn't want their actions to cause their colleague's chances of winning a "suit to silence" to fail. They also don't want the challenge of an appeal, and if they know in advance any action will be appealed (and in your case, this would be an easy guess) they probably don't want the fight. Why would they? What's a dead dog among friends when the public perception of the "club" is at stake?

This I believe will become a TACTIC. Any vet who can get a defamation suit launched BEFORE the outcome of a complaint against a board is announced will have an EXTRA bargaining chip for their lawyer to use with the board, appealing NOT ONLY that any action the board takes will help the "libeling" defendant, but also WEAKEN THE GROWING profession-wide movement of vets to silence public disclosure of negative opinions about them and their services. The entire profession has a vested interest in the vets winning these defamation suits.

I don't think we can assume their decision had anything to do with the merits of your case, and I think that most of the time, the decisions do not have anything to do with the merits of the case. If the board feels sympathy for the vet, that is enough for them to begin finding justifications to let the whole thing go. Rationalizations exist that are unimpeachable. A bloody glove and DNA all over the place may be evidence, but it's not proof unless the verdict says it is. The difference between evidence and proof is in the eye of the beholder, and pretty much, any decision can be justified, especially in a closed door process. Yes, that even includes DNA, videotaped confessions, and eyewitness testimony. If it can be challenged (and anything can be challenged) and the decision makers WANT to find a reason to dismiss, they will.

I am not sure what the answer is, I am still too "hot" myself to really take the long road which is the one that probably holds the only hope. The long road being, hitting the state capitol, nurturing the kinds of political connections we will need to make a difference. I am pretty much still at the stage where I am most interested in screaming from the rooftops about the injustice that is going on, and the skullduggery of the veterinary mafia. Their days of operating in smug self-righteous secrecy, however, are numbered.

Hugs to you.
Stefani.








Visit us again soon.

www.texasvetboardwatch.info




This Webring Website is owned by:
Greg & Cindy Munson - Stempy's Dad & Mom - ALWAYS for Stempy
Site Name:
Texas Vet Board Watch
Free Site Ring from Bravenet Free Site Ring from Bravenet Free Site Ring from Bravenet Free Site Ring from Bravenet Free Site Ring from Bravenet
Get Your Free Web Ring
by Bravenet.com







In honor and in memory of Stempy Munson - our beloved Shih Tzu - and all other victims of bad veterinarians.
Copyright © 2007- 2014 - TEXAS VET BOARD WATCH by Greg and Cindy Munson. FOR STEMPY. All Rights Reserved.
Legal notice: The texasvetboardwatch.info website along with Greg & Cindy Munson make no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness, reliability or fitness for a particular use of the information on this website. This information is ADVISORY ONLY & the website user assumes all liability & waives any & all claims or causes of action against this website, its hosts, and/or Greg & Cindy Munson for all uses of, & any reliance on, this information. This website, along with Greg & Cindy Munson, specifically disclaims any & all liability for any claims or damages that may result from providing the website or the information it contains, including any websites maintained by third parties & linked to and/or from the texasvetboardwatch.info website. Links provided to other websites from this website is not an endorsement of the third party website or its content. This paragraph shall accompany all distributions of this information & is incorporated into this information for all purposes.