YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A local doctor who practiced medicine for more than four decades will give up his license for the next five years. That’s even though a Mahoning County judge told him if he had his his way, he would have lost that license for the rest of his life.
Seventy-four-year-old William Paloski was in court Tuesday morning for sentencing on drug charges.
Prosecutors said Paloski was dispensing drugs to his patients and clients, sometimes even without a valid medical reason to do it.
Members of the Drug Task Force began investigating his practice years ago after discovering bottles used to contain his prescriptions in local drug houses. Investigators said his so-called patients would take the drugs and then sell or trade them on the streets.
Paloski’s lawyer, Dave Betras, asked the judge to not send his client to prison.
“He’s here at the end of his career, publicly humiliated, and that your honor, is a punishment,” he said.
Although Paloski will not spend time behind bars, Judge Scott Krichbaum refused to even address Paloski as a doctor.
“I mean it simply as an objective observer here that you are not in the eyes of this court a doctor. I won’t refer to you that way,” Krichbaum said. “You stand before me as a person convicted of serious criminal offenses, felonies.”
Krichbaum also had a few choice words for the lawyers regarding their delays in handling the case.
“This is outrageous. I’m greatly disappointed in what’s gone on here,” he said.
Paloski agreed to take a plea bargain on March 24, but it took until Tuesday to get the paperwork finished.
For his part, Paloski apologized for what he had done to himself and his family.
He was ordered to surrender his license and his permits to write certain prescriptions. Authorities have already seized most of his assets, including his bank accounts, but Paloski will also have to forfeit the building where his practice was located on Market Street as well as $250,000 in cash.
Krichbaum also had a warning for Paloski.
“I’m gonna tell you that I have five years that I can put you in the penitentiary, and if you do violate, I will put you in the penitentiary for five years,” he said.