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Santa Fe New Mexican: Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - Page 1

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   New Mexican (Newspaper) - December 14, 2005, Santa Fe, New Mexico                                NEW THE SANTA FE MEXICAN DECEMBER 50 CENTS Councilor attacks wagelaw study Research director defends use of county data in analysis By Bob Quick The New Mexican City Councilor David PfefFer said Tuesday that a preliminary report on Santa Fes minimum wage law is seriously flawed because it relies on countywide data to measure impact on the citys economy Pfeffer today will try to con vince fellow councilors to delay a scheduled Jan 1 increase in the municipal minimum wage until summer while the Bureau of Business and Economic Research completes a more detailed analysis Theyve used Santa Be County data from the New Mexico Department of Pfeffer said of the researchers I understood they were going to get their own Lee Reynis director of the bureau at The University of New Mexico said countywide data on jobs and socialwelfare programs were the only num bers available Thats what you can she said To the extent I had it I used And when it comes to jobs data Reynis said the city is pretty dominant among employers Weve established that in two other studies What happens in the city has a major impact on what the county numbers look The data is mixed concern ing how the wage ordinance Please see STUDY Page A3 IF YOU GO What Santa Fe City Council discussion of minimumwage law When Today 3 study session 7 public hearing Where Sweeney Convention Center doctor could lose state license Schwartz to face Medical Board over allegations of inadequate records Luis Sanchez New Mexican Dr George Schwartz examines signs of Morgellons disease on Linda Cooper of Los Angeles The Santa Fe doctor who treats patients for the skin condition will go before the state Medical Board this week on allegations he failed to keep adequate patient records By Wendy Brown The New Mexican Dr George Schwartz has saved untold lives as an emergencyroom doctor but this week before the state Medical Board he will be fighting for the only life hes known since he graduated from medical school in 1967 his life as a doctor Schwartz is scheduled to appear before the board Thursday and could lose his license to practice rnedi cine for failure to maintain adequate records for at least 55 patients and not being able to account for more than doses of controlled substances Schwartz did not keep enough records about prescriptions for drugs like OxyContin a frequently abused painkiller the and the state also alleges the doctor lied about his records being stolen In addition the doctor simultane ously prescribed one patient with OxyContin an opiate and Subutex a substance used to fight opiate addic tion according to records The state also calls some of Schwartzs records misleading and deceptive because they say Schwartz was trying to help a patient get off narcotics while simulta neously prescribing the patient large quantities of OxyContin Schwartz said he has evidence that burglars took the medical records and he intends to present the evidence at his hearing It is my hope theyll recognize the contributions Ive made to the state of New Mexico and I hope theyll give me the benefit of the Schwartz said The focus of Schwartzs current medical practice is the controversial Morgellons disease a skin condi tion that many doctors call a delusion but throughout most of his career the doctor has spent his time battling undeniably real injuries and diseases in emergency rooms He is considered a pioneer in the field of emergency medi cine and is the senior editor of Principles and Practice of Emergency Medicine a tome on emergency medi cine used throughout the country Please see DOCTOR Page A2 INSIDE Doctor focuses current practice on a disputed parasitic skin disease Page A2 Schwartz also is involved in a battle to ban aspartame in New Mexico Page A2 THE ALLEGATIONS The state alleges Dr George Schwartz Did not maintain adequate records for at least 55 patients Wasnot able to account for more than doses of controlled substances including OxyContin a frequently abused painkiller Lied about records being stolen Simultaneously prescribed one patient with OxyContin an opiate and Subutex a substance used to fight opiate addiction THE CAREER AT STAKE Schwartz graduated from medical school in 1967 and worked in emer gency medicine for 30 years He is the senior editor of Prin ciples and Practice ofEmergency Medicine an emergencymedicine textbook used nationwide From 1978 until 1983 he was an associate professor at The Uni versity of New Mexico School of Medicine where he directed the emergency department The focus of his current medical practice is the controversial Morg ellons disease a skin condition that many doctors call a delusion Cellphone bandit pleads guilty in bank robberies Former Santa Fe woman could get life in prison By Michael The Associated Press WASHINGTON A young woman dubbed the cellphone bandit pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges that could put her behind bars for the rest of her life Candice R Martinez 19 who used to live in Santa Fe and still has family here stood before a US District Court judge in subur ban Alexandria Va and entered guilty pleas to charges of conspiracy to commit bank robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence Under a plea deal the attorney dropped four counts of bank robbery Sentencing was set for March 3 Martinez a communitycollege student admitted conspiring with her boyfriendto rob four northern Virginia Wachovia Bank branches In one robbery a surveillance video captured her calmly talking on her cell phone while at the waiting for the money to be handed over The tape was played repeatedly on TV worldwide In one case Martinez pulled a 38 caliber revolver given to her by the boyfriend Dave The robberies in Vienna Springfield Manassas and Ashbum from Oct 12 to Nov 4 netted the couple Barely has been recovered Please see BANDIT Page A3 State insurance chief sorry for fundraiser Candice R Martinez Woman admitted conspiring with her boyfriend to rob four bank branches in Virginia TV stations worldwide aired a surveillance video showing her talking on a cell phone while waiting for a bank teller By David Miles The New Mexican State Superintendent of Insurance Eric Serna publicly apologized Tuesday for hosting a fundraiser for Rep Luciano Lucky Varela DSanta Fe and said he would no longer be involved in any political fund raisers In this instance I am humbled Im apologetic Fm sorry for it but I dont want it to discount the many good and positive strides that we have made as a Sema told the state Public Regulation Commission The New Mexican last week reported that Serna hosted an October fundraiser for Varela at the Rio Chama Steakhouse Varela raked in more than at the event which was attended by several people with ties to the insurance industry At the time Varela was planning to seek reelec tion to his House seat Eric Serna Varela has since decided to run for state treasurer after Robert Vigil resigned from the position Vigil has been charged in an alleged kickback scheme Varela and Sema have said there was nothing improper about the fundraiser Serna on Tuesday said he played a min imal role in the event I have nothing to be ashamed of other than maybe not using good judgment in allowing my name Please see SORRY Page A3 OBITUARIES Dolores S Sena 74 Dec 6 Major Joseph De La Cruz Ramirez 92 Santa Fe Dec 12 Marie Collier 47 Dec 12 Marie 81 Espafiola Dec 13 Katherine Besser Santa Fe Dec 11 PageC2 i TOOKIE DEBATE STILL RAGES Fans of executed Crips founder plan a funeral fit for a statesman Page C6 BEHIND ON BILLS Bills are piling up for a couple suffering health problems and a layoff Find out how to help them make ends meet Page C2 IRAQIS BEGIN VOTING WORLDWIDE Despite attacks on candidates Iraq is optimistic that turnout will be high at the polls Page A6 A MEDIEVAL CHRISTMAS FEAST Rnding a roasted boars head is a difficult task in the 21st century Working up an appetite for the beast might be even more difficult So one family hoping for an authentic medieval feast settles for a yuletide goose Taste Dl TODAY Sunny chilly High 42 low 12 PageC10 Index A wc3Hy owned MMI Annies Police Time mcoin Main Late 8 News Five sections 38 pages 156th year Issue No 348 Publication No 596440 Serving New Mexico for 156 years   

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