Doctor Accused Of Scamming Mentor Pharmacy

Dr. John Brownlee is accused of trying to scam a Mentor Kmart for tramadol; has previously had his medical license suspended for drug abuse

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.

HappyKamper October 24, 2012 at 02:34 PM
This is scarey and he is creepy.
todd October 24, 2012 at 05:20 PM
i guess the laser hair removal place has closed their doors after this news. The location is next to winking lizard in mentor.
Richard Dick October 24, 2012 at 07:41 PM
There are always two sides to the story....the media's and the truth. The story does not mention an hair removal place. You know something Todd?
Renee October 24, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Hey, this guy did my spider vein laser treatments at Radiance Laser and Aesthetics Spa in Mentor. Great..I have a treatment scheduled for the end of Nov. No wonder why they had to reschedule my appointment. He seemed like a nice guy. I hope he can get the help he needs.
Mentor Resident October 25, 2012 at 03:55 PM
He's a scumbag in my book. What if he hurt someone while doing a proceedure.
Mj Ruckel October 25, 2012 at 09:05 PM
And since he has a history, why wasn't he stopped before this considering the nature of his profession?
Dave October 25, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Should never be able to practice medicine again and get jail time
Mj Ruckel October 25, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Jason Lea- why are Dave's comments gone? He didn't take them off.
Mj Ruckel October 25, 2012 at 11:49 PM
Hey Gary- explain this - if your husband just had neck surgery, why did he have to scam the pharmacy back in May??
Mr. T October 26, 2012 at 12:41 AM
Hmm very interesting indeed.. I did not think they were obscene or inappropriate by any means.
Mj Ruckel October 26, 2012 at 09:45 AM
And Richard Dick's and Gary's comments ( who Dave was talking to) are still here. Both of those were directed at Dave and seemed to become somewhat hostile. Twitter isn't sesorored- I have enjoyed the conversation in there-- also - this page is the only place Brownleee is getting sympathy. Yes he needs help -- and consequences- ---he can get both in prison.
Dr Feelgood October 26, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Prison for obtaining a controlled substance with prescription? Where they obtained illegally? He has never been charged with a crime from what I read, not all addicts belong in prison. Was the law broken and has he been practicing medicine unlawfully? Not sure why Dave is so upset and what his motives are, let the justice system do their job. Unless, he knows John. If convicted of a felony I see prison time up to a year with most of it being suspended if admitted to rehab and then put on house arrest for quite some time. His career as a doctor is for sure over now if it wasn't before. I feel bad for him and his family because this is going to be rough. Glad no one has been hurt when he was a doctor. Last thing...why was he wearing scrubs?
LMF October 29, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Never think something like this would happen. I prepaid for a package of laser treatments there. Hoping I can get my money back somehow!
K W November 10, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Yes, I also pre-paid for for a laser package at this spa. I e-maiedl them twice and they haven't responded. I want my money back
White Paper November 13, 2012 at 03:23 PM
I know this Dr well, he Lied at almost every interaction I ever had with him. He knew with a temporary medical license, that it could have been revoked, Yet he opened a Laser Center, sold 1000 groupons, collected all the money from groupon, and left the customers w/ out doing their treatments. Good luck to all that bought at getting a refund from groupon. Cut your loses and go to a reputable laser center.
Susie Stern November 14, 2012 at 03:27 AM
I went to the laser place and liked it, So stupid me bought another package. Guess I can kiss that money GOODBYE. Damn. The place seemed a little odd. I wondered why a Cleveland Clinic physician would work there but I thought he was moonlighting because he has so many kids. I wonder if he really does have 9 children.
Geena November 28, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Yep, he took my money and ran, too. Wow. I hope he gets help.
DT February 04, 2013 at 07:03 PM
I enjoyed my laser treatment there, and would like to introduce some friends, however the phone get disconnected, just found out why. I felt bad for him, what he did was not ethical, but it was truely not a big deal, it is scary that how strict the law can be. I have to re-think if let my son go into the medical field. It is not fair to kill someone's career like this, what's wrong with people?
Patty Szewcyk February 20, 2013 at 04:17 PM
Justice March 27, 2013 at 07:19 PM
for someone who is not guilty. Just looked on Lake county common pleas website and he has entered a guilty plea to all the charges. Getting sentenced June 1st. Also see his last appeal with the Ohio medical board was rejected for the final time. Cant ever practice again. Good Luck finding a Job now with a Felony-5 on your record.


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