State Suspends Area Doc’s Medical License

BERLIN – The Maryland Board of Physicians recently suspended the medical license of an Ocean City doctor after its investigation revealed a pattern of alleged crack cocaine use and other sordid activities, including numerous arrests over a period of a year and a half.

On Nov. 5, the board summarily suspended the license of Dr. Jock Simon, a Salisbury resident who maintains an office in north Ocean City, from whence he provides home health care services to patients throughout the area. The board suspended Simon’s license after an investigation into a series of arrests for possession of crack cocaine and paraphernalia that began in May 2007 and culminated with his most recent arrest along Route 50 in September.

According to the board’s 11-page report on the suspension proceedings, Simon’s first arrest on cocaine possession charges occurred way back in 1987, after which his license to practice medicine was allowed to expire. The board reinstated Simon in 1991 after he completed a required substance abuse program, and there were no further run-ins with the law until May 2007 when he was arrested on crack cocaine possession charges during a routine traffic stop in Wicomico County. Those charges were ultimately dismissed, but the incident was just the first of several more to come.

Last May, Simon was again pulled over in Wicomico County when a Maryland State Police trooper observed his vehicle crossing the double yellow line. After a background check revealed Simon’s driver’s license was suspended for child support non-compliance, the trooper asked Simon to step out of the car, and when he did, he allegedly dropped a pink piece of paper that turned out to be a dry cleaning receipt with a rock of crack cocaine wrapped inside. He is scheduled to appear on charges related to that arrest on Nov. 25.

Most recently, on September 19 around 4:30 p.m., an MSP trooper stopped Simon on Route 50 in Berlin after receiving a call from a concerned citizen about a potentially intoxicated driver. The trooper responded and pulled Simon over after observing his vehicle straddling the line between the slow lane and the shoulder. As a second officer was approaching the vehicle, he observed Simon throw a clear glass-smoking device out of the passenger side of the vehicle. He was arrested again on possession charges and is scheduled to appear for trial Dec. 5.

On Oct. 20, Simon was brought in for a review by the Maryland Board of Physicians. He was questioned about his arrests for possession of crack cocaine and paraphernalia in May 2007, May 2008 and September 2008. According to the report, he claimed the drugs and paraphernalia in his possession at the time of the arrests did not belong to him, but rather his girlfriend, whom he refused to identify during the hearing.

On Sept. 26, board staffers interviewed a female witness at the Worcester County Jail who gave some insight into Simon’s alleged activities. The witness told the board Simon first approached her in Salisbury seven months earlier and allegedly told her “he was looking to pick up a girl,” and asked her if she knew where to get some crack. The witness said she did not trust Simon at first, but he smoked crack in front of her to assure her he was not an undercover police officer. After that, the witness said she contacted a friend who had access to crack and took Simon to purchase an “eight ball,” or about 3.5 grams of crack cocaine.

The witness reported that thereafter, Simon would give her money to purchase crack as many as three or four times a week on average. The witness told investigators she was not aware Simon was a medical doctor initially, but discovered he was physician when she left a voice mail message for him on his cell phone. Once, when she complained of a urinary tract infection, he called her pharmacy with a prescription for antibiotics even though he never examined her. The witness said she never obtained prescription drugs from Simon again, although he had a reputation in the community for writing prescriptions illegally in exchange for cash.

Based on Simon’s recent arrests at various times for possession of crack cocaine and paraphernalia, and the extensive amount of detail into his alleged activities provided by the witness, presumably his girlfriend, the Board decided on Nov. 5, “The respondent’s license should be summarily suspended because his continued practice presents an imminent risk of harm to patients. The respondent’s possession and use of drugs while he continues to treat patients places the health and welfare of his patients at risk.”