A doctor with a history of substance abuse was arraigned on a charge of deception to obtain a dangerous Tuesday in Mentor Municipal Court.
John Brownlee, 46, of Highland Heights, is accused of trying to scam tramadol -- a pain killer -- from the Kmart in Mentor on May 30, according to court records.
Brownlee is being investigated by the Lake County Narcotics Agency. He turned himself in Tuesday, was arraigned and released on a personal bond.
Brownlee has been censured by the State Medical Board of Ohio before for his drug use, according to documents on the Ohio License Center's web site. (The aforementioned documents have been attached to this story as a PDF.)
In 2006, the Board suspended Brownlee's medical license for 270 days. After receiving elbow surgery that year, he was prescribed Vicodin for his pain. After that prescription ran out, he started prescribing himself Percocet, using fictitious patients' names, according to a consent agreement from the Board.
Even before then, Brownlee had a history of chemical abuse, according to the Board. He previously received treatment for addiction in 1993 at the William J. Farley Institute in Virginia and again in 1994 at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation after he suffered a relapse.
After completing his suspension, Brownlee was allowed to return to medicine on a probationary status.
However, after four years, Brownlee seemed to relapse again, according to the Board.
In 2010, he asked several doctors over whom he had authority to write painkiller prescriptions for him, the Board said. Brownlee claimed the drugs were for relatives or other patients the doctors had not seen.
Brownlee has not worked at a hospital since January 2011, according to the Ohio License Center web site. Additionally, he listed himself as unemployed in court paperwork Tuesday.
However, he came to the court hearing wearing doctor's scrubs.
His next court hearing is scheduled for Nov. 1.