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December 13. 2012 8:28PM

Suspended Franklin pediatrician not facing criminal charges over prescription practices

A Franklin pediatrician forced to surrender his license last month for overprescription of narcotics and writing prescriptions to non-patients is not facing criminal charges, but law enforcement authorities said they would not discuss whether charges may be brought in the future.

An official with the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office said the license revocation of Mark D. Weinreb, who practiced in Franklin, is entirely separate from any criminal investigation, and authorities must keep the two processes apart.

Earlier this week, the Board of Medicine announced it had revoked Weinreb's license for at least five years, after he admitted to a host of questionable behavior, including overprescription of narcotics to children, writing prescriptions for non-patients, not properly documenting prescriptions for the narcotic oxycodone and writing precriptions outside the office.

"The Board (of Medicine) doesn't have the authority to prosecute, that's an entirely different from criminal charges," said Jane Young, an assistant attorney general who heads up the criminal prosecution division.

She referred questions about criminal prosecution to James Boffetti, an assistant attorney general who heads up the administrative prosecutions unit, which deals with non-criminal violations of state rules and regulations. Boffetti said any referrals to law enforcement would be up to the Board of Medicine, and that would be confidential. He said the Board could refer criminal law violations to state or local law enforcement.

"The New Hampshire Attorney General can't talk about any referral or any ongoing investigation," he said. "That's not information we're going to discuss."

Merrimack County Attorney Scott Murray checked at the request of the New Hampshire Union Leader and said he has no knowledge of an investigation or referral involving Weinreb.

Franklin police Detective Ralph Hale said he once spoke to an assistant attorney general about Weinreb, but he doesn't know what came of the conversation.

He said Franklin police are not currently involved in any investigation involving the physician.

Weinreb's lawyer before the Board of Medicine, Kenneth Bartholomew, said he is not aware of any criminal investigation, although Bartholomew stressed he only represented Weinreb before the board. He issued a statement on Weinreb's behalf yesterday.

"Dr. Weinreb felt that it was important to put this behind him and move forward in a different direction," the statement reads. "He wishes all his former pediatric patients and their families the very best."

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Mark Hayward may be reached at mhayward@unionleader.com.

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