The Knucklehead of the Day award
Today's winner is Alex Zakharia. He gets the award for the following.
A local heart surgeon who has been the subject of various investigations into his work has agreed to retire as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors.Passes yourself off as something you're not. People do it every day, but its different if you do it in a court of law. The doctor is getting off easy in my opinion so far as the justice system is concerned, but TFM will try making up for it. Alex Zakharia you are today's Knucklehead of the Day.
As part of the agreement, Alex Zakharia, 69, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor contempt of court charge in a Michigan case that questioned his testimony as an expert witness.
Zakharia must not only retire within months but agreed to write a letter that acknowledges his offenses and takes responsibility for his actions, to be published in a medical journal subject to government approval.
He faces up to a year in prison and fines up to $100,000, and must also pay restitution to the legal parties involved in his testimony.
The doctor, who has practiced in Miami-Dade County for more than 25 years, has had his staff privileges end at least four local hospitals, including South Miami. Many will not say why -- one former employer said they were ''not happy'' with his results -- and Zakharia has maintained he voluntarily left those places.
Last fall, the U.S. Attorney's office in Detroit charged Zakharia with fraud and false declaration for allegedly exaggerating his experience in coronary artery bypass surgery in a deposition. Zakharia was testifying in a malpractice case for a patient who was suing a VA hospital.
The agreement entered Wednesday stated Zakharia ``falsely created an impression that he was himself the lead surgeon on more than a hundred coronary artery bypass grafts . . . when in fact he was not the lead surgeon on any such procedures during that time period.''
Zakharia has been ordered to pay restitution of more than $16,000 for expenses involving his testimony. Prosecutors have recommended sentencing of a maximum of six months' custody.
Zakharia must retire on or before his sentencing or Dec. 31, whichever comes first.
Hat tip- Overlawyered
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