When we last left off in the strange case of alcoholic Huntington Beach plastic surgeon Brian West, we'd just learned that he'd been found guilty for lying to investigators about a DUI and disfiguring a former patient without her consent. The administrative law judge recommended that his license be revoked but the Medical Board of California, which had final say, decided, strangely, to reject the recommendation and have their own panel determine West's fate.
Today that panel ruled that they've decided to revoke the doctor's license beginning June 25 for lying, basically, over and over again. (Click here and type in his name to read the Med Board's decision). West also failed to show up for his random drug tests these past few months, behavior that didn't exactly scream sobriety to the board.
Friends of Dr. Brian West (or West himself) made a laughable attempt at tarnishing my and Sacramento reporter Kurtis Ming's reputations a couple of month's ago by launching a website that aired our dirty laundry (a 15 year-old underage drinking ticket for me; nothing on Kurtis). It was an effort to get back at us for reporting on the women he maimed, his drinking problem, and the faulty California Medical Board program that allowed doctors with addictions to continue to practice on patients without disclosing their problem if they joined a secret, loosely monitored state rehab program.
Ming began following West back during the doctor's Sacramento days, where he did most of his damage (botched surgeries, infections, last minute surgery switches in the OR, getting busted for driving under the influence while on the see a patient in the hospital), and I took over when I discovered the doctor had escaped Sacramento, hidden out in the military for a few years, and then moved down to Southern California, where he began practicing in Huntington Beach, Beverly Hills, LA, Long Beach and other cities, without much of a flap from the Medical Board (which was supposedly monitoring his alcoholism, and had the information regarding his failed sobriety tests, DUIs, and patient neglect allegations).
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We covered the story of a patient in Long Beach who was recently disfigured by the doc and the story about the restraining order West filed against a separate former patient, but things really took a turn for the worse when the Medical Board and the State Attorney General's office finally decided to investigate and hold hearings on a handful of allegations of medical neglect (out of dozens submitted) by former patients. Those hearings yielded the guilty rulings that led to the panel investigation and license revocation.