Lynne Fenton, James Holmes's doctor: Her ex-husband on minor discipline made to look major

lynne fenton cropped.jpg
Lynne Fenton.
Update: Shortly after publishing the following item about Dr. Lynne Fenton, a CU psychiatrist who treated accused Aurora theater shooter James Holmes, we heard from Steffan Andrews, Fenton's ex-husband, and one of the people to whom she provided Claritin and other meds without keeping proper records, earning censure from a state medical board. He provides some interesting back story on a case about which much is being made in the media, even though it appears to be unrelated and very minor.

According to Andrews, who's been divorced from Fenton for about ten years but remains friendly with her, "someone in her office got a strange call from a pharmacy" circa the late 1990s. "There was a patient there trying to fill a prescription for Vicodin and nobody knew the patient. And in fairly short order, she was able to discover that it was her nurse."

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Steffan Andrews.
At that point, Andrews continues, Fenton shared this information with the Drug Enforcement Administration, whose investigators were able to determine that the nurse had filled other prescriptions for Vicodin -- 1,200 to 1,400 of them, by his memory. But rather than stopping at busting the nurse, the DEA subsequently opened an inquiry into Fenton. Andrews's supposition about why: "The doctor gives the headlines."

What followed was a four-year investigation, after which the DEA "had nothing," in Andrews's view. "They had that Lynne hadn't opened and maintained a proper chart on me for my chronic hay fever [she gave him some Claritins before they were available over the counter], she gave me a small prescription for Ambien after a European vacation, and she had given the nurse some medicine without keeping a chart."

One other thing: "Her mother was dying of cancer, and she took four Xanaxes from a sample bottle of, I think, one hundred that she'd gotten from a drug rep -- and she gave the DEA back the other 96."

At the time the investigation was winding up, Andrews says Fenton was taking a break from practicing -- but when the DEA asked if she'd voluntarily surrender her license, she said "no." Shortly thereafter, the agency gave its information to the state medical board, which ultimately filed the 2005 document seen at the bottom of this post. "They said, 'You need to improve your charting,' she took a course, and that was it," Andrews recalls.

Now, however, Andrews believes the press is blowing this incident out of proportion. "They're making it seem like she's some crazy, drug-prescribing, out-of-control physician," he says, In truth, though, "she's a very nice, kind, compassionate person who's utterly, utterly dedicated to her patients and her work as a psychiatrist."

Page down to see our previous coverage.


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10 comments
j44t
j44t

Why let that psycho continue to destroy people's lives. Give me a break clariton, ambien and 4 xanax. 

Dawn Bent
Dawn Bent

I think that she's just a bit careless in keeping tabs but to me.. it kind of sounds like she's too nice. Unless they can prove that this doctor convince James Holmes to kill and injure all of those people, then I don't want to hear about this type of stuff. ugh.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

Michael, "... one of the people to whom she was censured ..." makes no sense.

 

Note the anecdote about the doctor having given her mother a bottle of Xanax and her mother having taken only four and given the other ninety-six to the DEA at one of their "Drug Take-Back Days", ostensibly for disposal -- the DEA is using these medications it receives to build criminal cases!  DO NOT under any circumstances give the DEA anything other than the condemnation this gang of criminal parasites deserve.  The DEA should be wiped clean from the earth!

Peggy Choate
Peggy Choate

This was a completely unfair charachterization of this woman. When I read the charges against her it bacame clear that she did nothing more than what probably thousands of doctors do every day.

Dennis Scott
Dennis Scott

So many real things to report on but the media take the path of most hype.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

 @RobertChase You''re right, Robert: That sentence got mangled in translation. I've rewritten it. Hope it makes more sense this time around. Appreciate your help.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 @RobertChase 

 

The phrasing isn't clear -- indefinite personal pronoun with multiple subjects -- but my read is that the Dr. herself took the 4 Xanax during the period that her mother had cancer.

 

And that she gave back the 96 / 100 sample bottle as part of the 4 year investigation.

 

Your assessment of the DEA is spot on.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

 @DonkeyHotay The first "she" can only be taken as referring to "Her mother", but contextually, the second can only refer to the doctor, since drug reps are not generally in the habit of giving samples of controlled medications to doctors' mothers not themselves doctors -- you are right; there is a problem with that sentence!  Michael ...

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