NewsTeam 10 Investigates


Team 10 Exclusive: Doctor terminated after admitting to installing hidden camera in restroom

The physician started working in Florida after losing his California medical license.
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Posted at 5:55 PM, Nov 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-07 00:57:03-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The Medical Board of California has accused a doctor of placing a hidden camera in an employee restroom at a hospital where he worked as a resident.

Dr. Amer Hajeer admitted to installing and operating the hidden camera at the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, California, according to an August 30 formal accusation recently published online by the board.

The doctor, who the board lists as having a San Diego address, is no longer able to practice medicine in California.

But Team 10 has learned the doctor, who lists himself on LinkedIn as being in Escondido, has been working in Florida, where his medical license has no discipline on record.

His primary specialty is family medicine, according to the Osceola Community Health Services website, which lists his education at the University of California San Diego in La Jolla and residency at the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.

“This case really does a shine on light on the need for better disclosure of information to patients across the board and better sharing of information between state medical boards,” said Carmen Balber, executive director of Consumer Watchdog, in an interview from Los Angeles.

Team 10 called Osceola Community Health Services after seeing Dr. Hajeer’s photo and expertise listed on its website. We were told in a phone call on Oct. 30 that the doctor was working at two locations for Osceola and that his supervisor would return our inquiry.

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Paul Starita, an attorney who has represented victims filmed on a hidden camera by a different doctor in the past, said the impact of being filmed can be long-lasting for victims. He told investigative reporter Austin Grabish as technology has advanced, cameras have become smaller and easier to hide.

A day later, the vice president of Osceola Community Health Services told Team 10 investigative reporter Austin Grabish that Dr. Hajeer’s employment had been terminated.

“We have no further comment. Please address any further questions to Dr. Hajeer,” Lennore S. Turcotte wrote in an email.

Turcotte wouldn’t tell Team 10 if the health group was aware of the medical board’s accusation against Hajeer, which was only recently published online. She also wouldn’t say if Osceola Community Health Services knew his California license had been canceled.

Hajeer’s alleged misconduct dates back to 2020 when he was employed as a resident physician at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. The medical board says he installed the camera “with the intent of videotaping employees while they (were) using the restroom.”

“He has engaged in conduct which breaches the rules or ethical code of the medical profession, or conduct which is unbecoming of a member in good standing of the medical profession, and which demonstrates an unfitness to practice medicine,” the accusation says.

Florida lists doctor in good standing

Earlier this year, a medical board investigator subpoenaed the doctor, requesting he testify at a board interview about the camera. Hajeer failed to attend an April interview without good cause, the accusation says.

Dr. Hajeer’s postgraduate training license was issued on Feb. 12, 2020, and canceled in October of that year after he was no longer enrolled in the residency program, said Emmalee Ross, a medical board spokesperson.

The Florida Department of Health still lists the physician in good standing with no discipline or public complaints on his record.

Ross said physicians can apply for a license in multiple states even if they’ve lost the ability to practice medicine in California.

“It is common for states to take disciplinary action against their licensees based upon discipline taken by a medical board in another state.”

Ross said the medical board filed the accusation against Dr. Hajeer even though his license has been canceled because it was active when the alleged misconduct happened.

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The Medical Board of California has accused a doctor of breaching the ethical code of the medical profession after he allegedly admitted to installing a hidden camera inside an employee restroom.

“Therefore, it is consistent with the Board’s consumer protection mission to pursue appropriate disciplinary action against an individual under the circumstances of this case so that the evidence can be weighed and a formal decision reached and available to the public and other licensing boards,” the board's document says.

The San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office confirmed it became aware of the hidden camera incident after Colton police referred the matter.

“Our office reviewed the case and determined that there was insufficient evidence to file criminal charges,” said public affairs officer Jacquelyn Rodriguez in an email to Team 10.

The Arrowhead Regional Medical Center refused to comment on this story.

“We cannot comment on confidential personnel matters,” said Justine Rodriguez, the hospital’s director of marketing and PR.

Paul Starita, an attorney who has represented victims filmed on a hidden camera by a different doctor in the past, said the impact of being filmed can be long-lasting for victims.

“It's tantamount to a sexual assault because you're essentially stealing someone, you're robbing them of their dignity,” said Starita, a former assistant United States attorney who is now a partner at Singleton Schreiber in San Diego.

Hajeer and his attorney didn’t return multiple requests for comment over the last month.