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Monday, February 25, 2013

DR. FRED GOTT'S OFFICES SEARCHED PURSUANT TO FEDERAL WARRANT.



About 25 state, federal and local law enforcement officers executed a federal search warrant this morning at the office of Dr. C. Fred Gott, a Bowling Green cardiologist who has been practicing medicine for 32 years.

Gott was not present during the search and has not been charged with any crime.

“This search warrant is the result of a joint investigation by the Bowling Green-Warren County Drug Task Force, Kentucky State Police, Kentucky Office of the Attorney General, Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration Drug Diversion Section and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Office of the Inspector General, Drug Enforcement and Professional Practices Branch,” according to a release from the drug task force.

“DTF was notified several months ago by the coroner’s office of several overdose deaths, and that is what initiated this investigation,” task force director Tommy Loving said this morning as law enforcement officers moved around in Gott’s office.

The federal search warrant is a sealed document. Law enforcement officers carried out computer hard drives and boxes of papers this morning and loaded those items into trucks. The computers will be taken to the Bowling Green Police Department’s computer forensic lab, Loving said. Loving referred all other questions to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Louisville.

During their work assessing deaths in Warren County, the coroner’s office has received calls from families and law enforcement regarding concerns about overdose deaths in general, Warren County Coroner Kevin Kirby said. Overdose deaths here are attributed to prescription drugs.

“Anytime there is a problem concerning deaths, whether it be auto accidents or drug overdoses, we try to be proactive and we try to stop it,” Kirby said. “That’s where law enforcement and the coroner’s office work hand in hand.”

In 2012, the coroner’s office determined that 12 people in Warren County died from drug overdoses. That number is down from 2011 when 18 people in Warren County died from drug overdoses, according to the coroner’s annual report.

In Kentucky, about 82 people a month die from overdose deaths with the majority of those deaths attributed to prescription drugs.

“It’s a problem all over the country,” Kirby said. “Yes, we do have a problem with it (here),” Kirby said.

Gott, whose area of practice is listed on the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure website as cardiovascular disease, graduated from the University of Louisville School of Medicine in 1978. He obtained his medical license Sept., 18, 1980, according to KBML online records.

Gott also provides pain management services, Loving said.

KBML online records note prior board action on Gott but the website does not specify what that action was. Previous disciplinary actions of the board are available only after the board receives written requests for such information. It was not possible to obtain that information prior to press time today.

Gott holds medical privileges at The Medical Center but does not perform cardiac catheterization at that facility, said Doris Thomas, vice president of marketing and development for Commonwealth Health Corporation, the parent company of The Medical Center.

Gott does not hold privileges at TriStar Greenview Regional Hospital, but is on the courtesy staff there, which means he can admit patients to that facility, Greenview marketing director Alan Palmer said.

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