Polygraph backs urologist’s claim about single-use needle guides

Embattled Dr. Michael Kaplan is fighting back in his attempt to have his license to practice reinstated.

The urologist, whose license was suspended for reusing single-use needle guides, took out an advertisement this week in the Review-Journal attempting to explain his side of the story. Kaplan has said a representative of the vendor, Providian, said the needle guides were reusable if properly cleaned.

Now I’m told Kaplan has taken and passed a polygraph test that asked the essential question: Did the vendor tell you the needle guides were reusable three to five times?

Kaplan answered in the affirmative.

That doesn’t mean he is excused for the behavior, his attorney Dominic Gentile argues, only that he wasn’t attempting to deceive anyone.

“There is an explanation, but you won’t see us in front of the hearing panel trying to excuse this,” Gentile said Thursday. “To the extent that science can indicate deception, there’s no deception here.”

The two-question test was conducted Sunday by former FBI polygraph examiner Jack Trimarco, whose federal career included cases such as the Oklahoma City bombing, the “Unabomber,” the Wen Ho Lee espionage investigation, the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the Whitewater investigation.

Kaplan’s license was suspended nearly two weeks ago by the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners after a joint investigation with the Food and Drug Administration, which regulates medical devices.

PURE TROUBLE: Just when you thought the IRS investigation of Pure nightclub inside Caesars Palace was fading, another former VIP host takes a felony plea.

Ali “Shawn” Olyaie pleaded guilty in a sealed hearing in U.S. District Judge Kent Dawson’s court to filing a false federal income tax return. He is the second former host to do so in a case that went public in February 2008 with a raid on the popular nightclub, which sources say was awash in cash — much of it unreported.

The quiet nature of Olyaie’s agreement makes veteran court watchers wonder whether he is cooperating in the ongoing investigation.

SPRING MIRACLE: The start of another Miracle League season has become a sure sign of spring in Southern Nevada. This year’s league is bigger than ever.

Last March, the league attracted 60 players. When the first pitch is thrown Saturday morning at Engelstad Field, 157 players will have signed up.

Located at 101 S. Rancho Drive, the Miracle League gives special-needs youth a chance to play baseball on a field designed just for them.

“We’ll need lights to handle any more teams,” Executive Director Clifford “Rip” Rippetoe says.

Opening Day ceremonies will include the Boy Scout Honor Guard, a Fire Department bagpipe and drum corps, and an appearance by Mayor Oscar Goodman.

YOUR TOWN: Inspiring 13-year-old Branagh McMullan spearheaded a St. Baldrick’s fundraiser for childhood cancer research at Alexander Dawson School and raised $88,000. The tough guys from the Las Vegas Wranglers took time from skating long enough to shave as a team and raised $14,000.

QUOTABLE: “Even though the economy’s tough and a lot of things are going on, we’re not going to turn a blind eye to that business.” — Sheriff Doug Gillespie on the subject of policing prostitution.

ON THE BLOG: There’s more on the Pure plea, an act of kind efficiency at the DMV, and Nevada’s wild horse issue through the eyes of a longtime rancher on this week’s blog. Check it out at http://www.lvrj.com/blogs/smith.

ON THE BOULEVARD: It’s hard to find a bigger college basketball fan than Four Kegs night manager Loren Ward. He is such an Iowa fan he has “Hawkeye” on his license plate. Ward talks sports so much his friends claim he’s getting “Lorengitis.” … A toast to Ron Amos, former R-J sports editor and Caesars Palace PR director, gone at 77.

Have an item for the Bard of the Boulevard? E-mail comments and contributions to Smith@reviewjournal.com or call (702) 383-0295. He also blogs at lvrj.com/blogs/smith.

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