Friday, July 10–Former Resort Doctor Convicted On Drug Charges

SNOW HILL – An Ocean City doctor arrested last September on various charges after a concerned citizen reported his erratic driving pleaded guilty last week in Worcester County Circuit Court to driving on a suspended license and possession of drug paraphernalia, adding a new chapter in his long pattern of illegal drug use and other sordid activities.

Around 4:30 p.m. last Sept. 19, a Maryland State Police (MSP) trooper stopped Jock Simon, a local doctor with a practice in Ocean City, 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 trooper was approaching the stopped vehicle, he observed Simon throw a glass-smoking device out of the passenger side window. Simon was arrested and charged with driving on a suspended license and various drug charges. Last week in Circuit Court, Simon pleaded guilty to the driving on a suspended license charge and was sentenced to six months in jail, all of which was suspended in favor of probation and a $500 fine. He also pleaded guilty to the possession of paraphernalia charge and was fined an additional $100.

Simon’s arrest in Worcester last September continued a long pattern of similar incidents over a period of about two years. For example, in May 2007, Simon was arrested on crack cocaine possession charges after a routine traffic stop in Wicomico. Those charges were eventually dropped. In May 2008, Simon was arrested again in Wicomico after an MSP trooper observed his vehicle crossing the double yellow line.

When asked to step out of the vehicle, Simon dropped a pink piece of paper on the ground that turned out to be a dry cleaning receipt with a rock of crack cocaine wrapped inside. Simon went to trial for that incident in April and was found guilty of possession of cocaine. He was sentenced to two years in jail with all but 20 days suspended.

Even before Simon went to trial in April for the May 2008 incident in Wicomico, he was arrested again in Worcester County in March 2009 for possession of cocaine and possession of paraphernalia, the details of which are not known. He is scheduled to appear for trial on Aug. 25 in District Court for the most recent arrest in Worcester.

Simon’s checkered past ultimately led to the suspension of his license to practice medicine. Last Oct. 20, Simon was brought in for review by the Maryland Board of Physicians and was questioned about his arrests for possession of crack cocaine and paraphernalia in May 2007, May 2008 and September 2008. According to the board’s report, Simon claimed the drugs and paraphernalia in his possession at the time of his arrests did not belong to him, but rather his girlfriend, whom he refused to identify during the hearing.

However, in September 2008, before Simon’s hearing in front of the physician’s board, board staffers interviewed a female witness at the Worcester County Jail who gave some insight into Simon’s alleged activities. 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 last 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.”