A 77-year-old doctor who practiced family medicine for more than 50 years in Havre de Grace has voluntarily surrendered his medical license in the wake of allegations that he illegally dispensed tranquilizing and painkilling prescription drugs, state medical authorities said yesterday.
Edward J. Simon of the 3800 block of Somerset Court told the Maryland Board of Physician Quality Assurance in a letter submitted Wednesday that he understood surrendering his license meant he could no longer practice medicine.
By signing the letter, Mr. Simon acknowledged that the board had voted Oct. 13 to consider suspending his license, had notified him of the specific charges on Oct. 22 and had planned to hold a hearing at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday to decide whether he should be suspended.
Mr. Simon's letter listed three charges for which the board was seeking to suspend his license:
* Immoral or unprofessional conduct in the practice of medicine.
* Solicitation of professional patronage through an agent or other person, or profiting from the acts of a person who is represented as an agent of the physician.
* Selling, prescribing, giving away or administering drugs for illegal or illegitimate medical purposes.
Mr. Simon's letter of surrender is similar to a plea bargain. By giving up his license, Mr. Simon made a suspension unnecessary and avoided further inquiry into the board's charges.
Wednesday's proceedings also make it virtually impossible for Mr. Simon to practice medicine in any other state.
If he sought a license elsewhere, his letter of surrender and any other documents gathered by the board in its investigation could be turned over to the licensing agent where he applied.
Immediately after surrendering his license, Mr. Simon presented a letter to Dr. Israel H. Weiner, chairman of the Board of Physician Quality Assurance, said Freeborn Brown, Mr. Simon's Bel Air attorney.
That letter cited Mr. Simon's advanced age and poor health as reasons for his decision to surrender his license. It also cited his long-standing practice of treating the indigent without charge.
Mr. Simon was the target of a six-month undercover investigation by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
His office in the 500 block of Bourbon St. was raided Oct. 5, and police seized patient, prescription and financial records.
City Pharmacy, in the 200 block of N. Union Ave., also was raided that day as police seized drugs, along with prescription and financial records.
Mr. Simon still could be indicted on criminal charges by a Harford County grand jury.