I-Team: Doctor allegedly traded drugs for sex - 8 News NOW

I-Team: Doctor allegedly traded drugs for sex

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Dr. Ronald Foote's arrest in April 2014 for DUI. Dr. Ronald Foote's arrest in April 2014 for DUI.
Dr. Ronald Foote's arrest in 2004. Dr. Ronald Foote's arrest in 2004.
LAS VEGAS -- A Las Vegas doctor can't practice medicine anymore after accusations he traded drugs for sex. This isn't the first time Dr. Ronald Foote faced getting booted out of the medical field.

Dr. Foote is accused in a new civil lawsuit of intentionally getting his patient -- who was his lover -- hooked on powerful painkilling drugs. Records show the doctor has had three suspensions and a license revocation. His office is currently closed -- indefinitely -- while he finishes an addiction recovery program.

Foote was sued by a woman named Penny Scott. She says she went to Dr. Foote's clinic on Charleston Avenue near Rainbow Road for back pain. She claims they both began a two-year long sexual relationship and usually met at Foote's University Medical Center office. In exchange for sex, Scott says she got powerful painkilling narcotics for free of charge.

"She's looking to Dr. Foote as this powerful man who can help her. He's telling her this is what you need to do. Is it a lapse of judgement? Possibly, but if you're going to balance things out, who's the one in the position of power," said Ron Colquitt, Scott's attorney.

Scott accused the doctor of trying to bribe her to keep things quiet. They broke up and she sued. Scott went to rehab and so did Foote, but this is not Foote's first time in addiction rehab.

Dr. Foote was arrested in 2004. Metro Police say Foote got drunk, grabbed a male nurse's crotch at UMC and threatened the life of a police officer. The court case was dropped when Foote finished rehab. In 2006, the Nevada Board of Medical Examiners fined him nearly $10,000 after finding he was unethically medically treating himself. In 2007, the medical board punished Dr. Foote for medical malpractice, almost suspending his license in 2009. In another case, the medical board discovered Foote lied on his license application, never revealing previous arrests for assault, battery and burglary. His license was suspended and temporarily revoked.

The I-Team asked the medical board's director why Dr. Foote is allowed to keep coming back to practice medicine.

"There's not a three strikes and you're out law in any of the medical practice actions," said Doug Cooper, director of the medical board. "The legislature hasn't passed it."

Cooper says past offenses and complaints against doctors often do not count against them during each additional case.

Dr. Foote is still in rehab and his attorney declined to answer the I-Team's questions but did submit a written response saying, "Dr. Foote denies Ms. Scott's allegations. He has no further comment."

The medical board suspended Dr. Foote again for these latest sex for drugs accusations.

First year medical students are told having sex with patients is a dangerous act.

"It clouds your judgement. It brings in something else that might prevent you from finding the best kind of health care for your patient," said Dr. Mitchell Foreman, dean of Touro University.

There was a sign on the door at Dr. Foote's saying the office would open on July 23, but that sign has since been removed.

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