San Diego (KGTV) - A San Diego doctor convicted and deported due to child pornography charges is back working in the medical field.
In 2006, Dr. Jacques Lemire pled guilty to possessing child pornography.
More than a decade after he was stripped of his medical license in California, the Toronto Star discovered Lemire was able to get a new license in Canada.
"I'm not working with patients; I think it shouldn't be disclosed,” said Lemire.
He explained in a phone interview with a Toronto Star reporter that he doesn't think the disciplinary actions he was dealt in the United States should be listed on his current license in Quebec.
“The fact that I’m doing administrative, I’m not working with patients. I think it shouldn’t be disclosed,” he said. “I’m not even close to any patient.”
In the late 90s, Lemire was at the top of his medical game in San Diego.
He specialized in pediatric kidney transplants and 10 News even featured him in a 2001 story. But, in January 2004 that rising career came crashing down.
Lemire was arrested for possessing child pornography. Investigators were tipped off when Lemire took his laptop in for repairs. A technician found images of children engaged in sexual acts.
In sentencing transcripts, the court noted that although Lemire is guilty of possession of child pornography, examining professionals did not determine him to be a pedophile.
Lemire spent about year behind bars and was deported to Canada around 2008.
A decade later, reporters for the Toronto Star found Lemire working in a medical setting. They discovered he now “reviews medical files for Quebec's public health insurance program.”
The publication's series, “Bad Doctors who Cross the Border can Hide Their Dirty Secrets” reveals how doctors crisscross the Canada-U.S. border while a broken system keeps the records of their crimes, malpractice and disciplinary rulings secret.
The Toronto Star discovered, “A year after the U.S. government deported Lemire, Quebec's physicians' college granted him a license." According to their investigation, “From 2010 to 2014, Lemire was permitted to practice only in Quebec ‘institutions,’ and he spent three years at an old-age home for retired nuns. He was not explicitly restricted from treating children, and the institutions category includes child and youth protection centres.”
On its website the Quebec College lists Lemire as having an active status, but his practice is limited to administrative tasks without clinical activity.
What's not listed in his profile is any disciplinary action taken against Lemire by the California Medical Board or U.S. courts. It lists a phone number to call for more information.
Team 10 asked the Medical Board of California to comment on Lemire’s current situation in Canada.
In a statement a spokesperson said, “The Medical Board of California (Board) is committed to consumer protection, transparency, and notifying consumers and out-of-state jurisdictions when a physician has been disciplined in California. The Board posts disciplinary actions on its website and sends subscriber alerts whenever a doctor has been disciplined. In addition, the Board regularly posts updates on its Twitter and Facebook pages whenever a doctor is disciplined. The Board works with the Federation of State Medical Boards and National Practitioner Data Bank to notify jurisdictions outside of California when doctors have been disciplined here.”
Team 10 investigator Adam Racusin asked how situations are handled if a doctor is disciplined in another country, then applies for a license in California? The spokesperson said, “Whenever a doctor who is disciplined in a jurisdiction outside of California and applies for a license in California, the Board reviews the discipline as part of the licensure process.”
In his interview with the Toronto Star, Lemire said officials with the medical college were presented with all the information and they agreed that he would get his license back. He believes he served his time and should be allowed to keep being productive.
In response to 10News questions and the Toronto Star investigation a spokesperson for the Collège des médecins said they always check the disciplinary and criminal backgrounds before accepting and licensing a doctor. In a statement, they wrote
“This verification is done through a declaration of the doctor and also to the relevant jurisdictions. The physician must provide the College with a certificate of professional conduct. A professional certificate of conduct contains all professional information about a physician (ex: investigation, disciplinary complaints, etc.)
In fact, in this case, the Executive Committee of the College accepted the inscription of Dr. Lemire in 2010, under several conditions and limitations to be respected. The following are the limitations imposed on Dr. Lemire by the College in 2010:
-to limit his practice to practice in an institution;
- to require that Dr. Jacques Lemire inform the authorities where he will exercise the limitation attached to his re-registration on the roll of the order, as well as the reasons that led to the limitation, or because he was found guilty of criminal acts in the United States, as well as the nature of those acts;
-to enroll in the program of administrative follow-up of physicians at risk of incapacity of the Collège des médecins du Quebec for a period of two years;
-to successfully complete a two-month pediatric refresher course or until goals are met;
-to inform Dr. Lemire that these conditions may be re-evaluated by the Executive Committee of the Collège des médecins du Québec, and may ultimately be waived, to the extent that the Executive Committee considers that no particular framework is necessary for the purposes of protecting the public. This reassessment may be done after a minimum period of two years from the date of re-registration on the roll of the order, following a motivated request from Dr. Lemire.
I told you that the doctor had to do an internship, because there is a regulation at the Collège that indicates that if a doctor has not practiced medicine for several years, he must submit to an internship and succeed before practicing . In addition, I confirm that Dr. Jacques Lemire did not have a professional domicile in Quebec between 2010 and 2014. That is to say that no institution gives him privileges, so he not practiced medicine. Since 2014, he practices only administrative medicine. It is a limitation of exercise. He can not see patients.
In Quebec, the professional system is highly regulated. The Collège des médecins du Quebec has excellent relationships with other physician colleges in Canada and outside Canada. The College gets all the information it needs on a member from other colleges.
The Collège des médecins du Québec provides certain information of a disciplinary nature to the public. All telephone calls having to do with a physician’s disciplinary history are forwarded to the person in charge of information on discipline.
On line, you can have some information. : http://www.cmq.org/bottin/index.aspx?lang=en&a=1 [cmq.org]
Click on HISTORY to see if the doctor has had a limitation or decision in the past. If this is the case, the member of the public is invited to call the College for more information.”
Team 10 called the California Attorney General’s office and the Department of Justice to get a comment about Lemire’s current work status in Canada. Neither agency responded to our request for a comment.
In California you can look up whether or not your doctor has been disciplined and for what.