Ohio pain clinic doctor is expected to change plea

CINCINNATI (AP) — A former Ohio medical clinic doctor charged with illegal drug distribution is scheduled to change his plea at a hearing that usually signals a guilty plea.

James Lassiter was one of six doctors accused in a federal indictment last year of prescribing pain medication without performing meaningful examinations of patients.

The indictment also alleged the 59-year-old Lassiter opened an unlicensed dispensary after legitimate pharmacists refused to fill prescriptions.

Cincinnati federal judge Michael Barrett on Tuesday scheduled a change of plea hearing for June 14 for Lassiter, who previously pleaded not guilty.

A message was left with Lassiter’s attorney.

A 2012 indictment alleges dozens of customers would travel hundreds of miles weekly to visit the clinics in southern and central Ohio and pay $200 per visit for painkillers.

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