Handing down the strongest reprimand available, an administrative law judge revoked the veterinary and premise licenses of Dr. Mark A. Schwarm, a former Kansas Veterinarian of the Year convicted of illegally selling anabolic steroids, and ordered him to pay a $2,000 fine.
Following Judge Fred Jackson's initial ruling, issued July 7, Dr. Schwarm petitioned for a stay on the order and a review by the Kansas Board of Veterinary Examiners, which could have recommended a lighter penalty. But on Aug 15, the board voted unanimously not to grant either of the practitioner's requests, making Jackson's order final.
The revocations became effective Aug 18.
Dr. Schwarm was convicted in September 1999 of nine felony counts of illegally selling Winstrol-V to a client over a two-year period. He was sentenced to 30 days work release and three years' probation, and fined $5,000 (see JAVMA, March 15, 2000). The veterinarian is appealing that conviction.
During the June 5 administrative hearing, the board, of which Dr. Schwarm was once a member, requested revocation of his license and premise registration for his mixed practice in South Hutchinson, Kan.
Given Dr. Schwarm's history with the board, its members opted for an administrative law judge to oversee the proceeding, rather than presiding over the hearing themselves. This was done to avoid allegations of bias or conflict of interest, explained Dr. Dirk Hanson, executive director of the Kansas Board of Veterinary Examiners.
"It's going the extra mile to offer due process," he said.
Hearing records show that Dr. Schwarm's lawyer, Kristine Savage, contended that instead of revoking his license, the board should place the practitioner on a period of supervised probation.
Jackson ruled otherwise, ordering that the veterinarian be punished to the full extent of the law.
Calls to Savage's office for comment for this article were not returned.
The week after the board's decision, Dr. Schwarm sought a temporary stay on Jackson's order in the Shawnee County, Kansas, District Court. The motion was denied, however.
Dr. Schwarm is now also appealing his license revocation, according to Dr. Hanson.