Delaware Medical Society: No record of complaint
By ESTEBAN PARRA • The News Journal • January 7, 2010
Episodes of worrisome behavior by Dr. Earl Bradley were reported to the Medical Society of Delaware in 2005, almost five years before the Lewes pediatrician was charged with raping nine female patients, according to court documents obtained Wednesday by The News Journal.
A former office manager for Bradley told investigators in April 2005 that she filed a complaint with the society and spoke to Dr. James Marvel, the group's then-president, according to court documents.
Society officials said Wednesday they have no record of such a complaint, adding investigators have not spoken to them about the case.
"We've checked our physician health files … and there is no evidence of a letter complaining about Dr. Bradley," said Wendy L. Gainor, senior director of professional services for the Medial Society of Delaware. Gainor, who spoke on behalf of Marvel, said investigators had not spoken to him.
Marvel, a Lewes orthopedic surgeon, could not be reached Wednesday.
The Medical Society of Delaware is a professional organization of physicians and does not license doctors. That duty falls to the state Board of Medical Practice.
The office manager's claims were disclosed in a 19-page Superior Court document listing some of the facts of the investigation, such as interviews with eight children and six witnesses, including colleagues, nurses and staff.
The office manager, identified only as "Witness 5," spoke to police in April 2005.
She told investigators that she was fired after three years on the job because she confronted Bradley about his personal problems and financial issues.
Bradley, according to the woman, took samples of medication from the Lewes office for his own use. He also claimed he was bi-polar and would take Zoloft, Paxil and Zitera — all antidepressants, according to the court documents.
The former worker also said she received several complaints from parents regarding improper touching by Bradley. When Bradley would pick up the girls, he would have his hands under their clothing, she said.
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In one instance, the woman said a parent would no longer let her older daughter be seen by Bradley because the girl complained he "kisses her too much." The mother continued to allow Bradley to see her younger daughter.
The former employee filed a complaint with the Medical Society of Delaware outlining her concerns, she told investigators. She told police the letter was sent to Dr. Carol A. Tavani, who chairs the society's Physicians' Health Committee. The committee works with doctors who are having personal and professional problems.
The former employee told investigators Tavani turned the letter over to Marvel for investigation.
Marvel, who served as the society's president from October 2004 to September 2005, told the former manager "Bradley experienced the same type of problems (money, depression) on his record from Philadelphia," according to court documents.
"According to Dr. Marvel, an investigation was never conducted," the document said.
"I can tell you this guy has never been followed by the physicians' health program," said Tavani, a neuropsychiatrist and executive director of Christiana Psychiatric Services. "There is no such letter that came to my office. I can tell you that because I would have seen it."
Had such a letter arrived, Tavani said she and other doctors would have been bound to report it to the state medical board.
"Had I received the information you are giving me, I would have had to share that with the board of medical practice," she said. "I really was not any more familiar with this person than the general public."
Contact Esteban Parra at 324-2299 or