Dr. Wayne Longmore, arrested in March of this year on a number of charges related to a criminal investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and New York Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement into regarding his writing of prescriptions for various drugs over the past few years, pled guilty to a one-count charge of distributing the drug hydrocodone (Vicodin) in Albany-based U.S. District Court, Northern District on Wednesday, October 17. Senior U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence E. Kahn adjourned the one-hour session until 10:30 a.m. on February 7, 2013 for sentencing.
According to the Woodstock Walk In Doctor’s Office doctor’s attorney David Gruenberg of Troy, Dr. Longmore — who surrendered his license to practice medicine as a doctor on April 3 — agreed to give up his medical practice and license as part of his plea, which allowed him to waive indictment for what is legally entitled a “one count information.”
Gruenberg said that the evidence against Dr. Longmore included his own medical records, taken with a search warrant at the time of his arrest, and videotape that tracked a number of undercover operative visits to the Woodstock Walk-In Doctor’s Office involving request and prescriptions for prescription drugs.
“There was enough to show he wasn’t following accepted medical procedures,” the lawyer said.
Longmore, a veteran Emergency Room director and experienced triage doctor, opened his office at 104 Mill Hill Road in 2002 on a vision of providing small town community emergency help on a cash basis, with a sliding scale of payment for those with less means. Almost immediately, the Walk-In Doctor’s Office became a center for those in the greater community without insurance…but he also attracted legal and medical industry problems from the start. In 2003, he came under the attention of the state Medical Society, which eventually filed a complaint against him with the state Department of Health. His main problem at the time? Untreated bipolar disease.
At one point, the noted alternative doctor Patch Adams spoke about taking over Longmore’s practice during those earlier difficulties, or at least putting together some form of benefit for the veteran of numerous big city emergency rooms, including that of Kingston Hospital.
Longmore resumed his practice quietly, on probationary terms from the DOH’s Committee for Physicians Health, in 2006. That period of watching stopped in 2010, according to the doctor.
Gruenberg said this week that between now and the doctor’s February 7 sentencing, the Federal Probation department will undertake an investigation resulting in a report for the judge to aid him in his task.
“That report will set out some guidelines for punishment that the judge can take higher or lower, at his own prerogative,” the attorney said. “For our part, we will be presenting the many calls and letters that have come from the community in support of Dr. Longmore. We’ll present our side of things…that Dr. Longmore has done a great deal of good for his community.”
Standard sentencing for the charge that Dr. Longmore pled guilty for is “between six and 12 months of jail time,” Gruenberg added.
“I believe there are a number of elements that could reduce the judge’s sentencing significantly,” he added. “We are hoping for a sentence without incarceration.”
Life was his practice
“I’m innocent of these charges. I do not prescribe controlled substances without a reason,” Longmore said after his arrest on March 21, 2012. “The prescriptions I’ve written were entirely within medical purposes. I don’t prescribe to people who just walk in and want it. I have a busy practice…I do not sell prescriptions.”
He admitted, then, that he had written 6900 prescriptions for hydrocodone in the time period of the investigation, “But I wrote another 20,000 prescriptions for antibiotics and other medications.”
Longmore added, then, that he had no idea he was under surveillance.
“I was out of work for two years, then under the guidance of the Committee for Physicians Health for five years. That was completed in 2010,” he added. “The only requirement I’ve had is to see a psychiatrist while I practice in New York State. And I do see a psychiatrist.”
This time around, Gruenberg said it was best not to try and speak to Longmore directly about his circumstances.
“This has been very difficult for him,” he said. “You can only imagine. His life was his practice.”