Apparently the Florida Board of Dentistry is more concerned about “saving face” of one of their licensees—Dr. Michael Addair Tarver— than they are about the safety of the public, most notably, children.
At a board hearing on November 15, 2013, the board voted to reinstate the dental license of Dr. Michael Addair Tarver and agreed to a proposed settlement with a few changes. Reports say the Dental Board members agreed to “reduce the fine imposed by 1/2; from $15,000 to $7,000 and to removed a stipulation whereby Dr.Tarver must publish a 2,500 word article. (don’t worry, Dr. T, I think the the 2,500 word article is covered)
In September 2013, the Surgeon General and Secretary of Health, John H. Armstrong, MD, FACS, issued an Emergency Suspension Order for the dental license of Dr. Tarver after an investigation of serious allegations of patient endangerment and malpractice. (see Background below)
According to the Ocala Post article, Tarver admitted he would sedate children if they misbehaved! This is far past outrageous! It’s criminal!!! What next will happen that sends the message it is acceptable to sedate a child for misbehaving?! Teachers? Daycare providers? Parents? Grandparents? Does this not scare anyone but me?!
Tarver must also complete continuing education on Ethics and keeping Dental Records. By reading the Emergency Suspension Order, Tarver knows all about record keeping, since he was able to go into the computer an altered many of them. Maybe this required CE class is about how to restrain the urge to alter patient records when investigators come knocking. Reports also say he must be “monitored” by another dentists, someone other than his wife.
Dr. Tarver told the Ocala Star Banner that “his heart is broken” and “he plans to leave the profession”. So I ask, why reinstate his license? Just for the sake of the children, the board should error on the side of caution, and make sure he sticks with his decision? But nooo…. they want him to have access to Florida’s children!
The suspension Order of Dr.Tarver acknowledged there is a certain trust between patient and doctors that Tarver violated,“…Dentists often operate on patients who are sedated, and do so in private.” “…The potential for abuse is high”.
The Order indicated serious doubt as to Dr. Tarver’s ability to see the error of his ways or any inclination he had the ability to recognize the seriousness of his ethical responsibilities:
- “…A less restrictive sanction would not suffice to protect the public from the danger posed by Dr. Tarver.”
- “…Tarver has shown an inability and/or unwillingness to comport with the standard of care required in practicing dentistry.”
- “…Tarver’s attempt to conceal his violations… indicates that he fails to recognize the import of the laws governing dentistry.”
- “…Tarver is likely to continue to commit violation in the future.”
- “…interference….demonstrates that he cannot reasonably be expect to comply with any sanction short of suspension.”
- “…nothing short of the suspension of Dr. Tarver’s license will adequately protect the public from the danger that he poses.”
Florida Surgeon General, Armstrong, appears to have been spot on. But apparently the members of the dental board disagreed. Dental Board member, Dr. Wade Winker, just wanted to “go forward with the settlement”…”because we have a huge ethical problem here.”
Who do you trust? The opinion of the Florida Dental Board or the Florida Department of Health?
Recently Dr. Tarver, with his wife Rebecca stated they hoped to move past “the gossip, lies and rumors” and together they “looked forward to working with the community".
Well, if there is an “huge ethical” problem, then what’s the rush?. Did Dr. Winker mean at the board level or that of Dr. Tarver? It’s only been just over 2 months since the Emergency Order was issued for heaven’s sake.
Surely the Florida Dental Board, hasn’t’ forgotten about Dr. Thomas Floyd. His abuse when on for 10 years or more, and many of you guys were right there watching it, every step of the way. By reading the allegation made against Tarver they sound more than similar.
According to reports in the Ocala Star Banner, Dr. Tarver’s attorney, Edwin A. Bayo, , …“blasted the Department of Health and it’s investigator, Michael Knezevich, calling the investigation “erroneous” and… Bayo said .”…I’ve never seen a case like this in all my years of practice.”
Well, well, well. I would say, attorney Bayo should get out more. It’s in the news nearly every damn day. Thomas Floyd for example, right there in Florida.
According to The Ocala Star Banner, Bayo stated this was nothing more than a “disgruntled” former employee causing Dr. Tarver’s problems.
The “disgruntled employee” defense used to work, not so much anymore. It’s “disgruntled patient”, and sadly those carry much more weight. (see Former employee of Dr. Michael Tarver says his wife, Rebecca is not any better with children)
Attorney Bayo said the Ocala police department investigated and found nothing. However, the Star Banner reports that there was no “case for child abuse”. Bayo didn’t mention that an investigation by the DEA is ongoing. The DEA raided the office on August 30, 2013 according to reports. Something Tarver originally denied happened.
According to the Star Banner report, Bayo said the investigator was “abusive to his client”, “disrespectful” and the entire “investigation was flawed.”
Questioning of Dr. Tarver by board members revealed he was seeing 120 patients a day, and 55-60 of them were being sedated. Tarver said that number included the patients also seen by his wife.
One dental board member asked Tarver if the practice was “patient or profit based”. Tarver answered that it was patient based. However, a quick Google search of “dental Medicaid children” brings that into question.
Dr. Joseph J. Thomas wanted the whole issue dismissed, according to the report. According to the website Healthgrades.com, Dr. Thomas rates below the national average in every category. This could be behind his reasoning for hoping to dismiss the whole issue with Dr. Tarver. Maybe Thomas thought Tarver actions were nothing compared to his own, who knows.
Rebecca Tarver has changed the name of the clinic to Churchill Pediatric Dentistry (story here) and will allow parents back with their children for cleaning and exams. What about other procedures?
The Ocala Star Banner article also listed more pissing and moaning by Michael and Rebecca Tarver:
- the stories have ruined their lives, emotionally and financially
- 20 employees lost their jobs
- they were kicked out of the Medicaid program
- children on Medicaid now have no place to go
- it was like throwing a nuclear bomb into our practice
Dr. Tarver appears to be “truthfully challenged” on many levels, leaning heavily toward an inner narcissist. He is NOT the only office in town who accepts and treats children on Medicaid.
Let’s not let the inner bully off the hook either. After the first report surfaced, many more parents came forward and told of their horrors with Tarver over on Ocala’s Word of Mouth Facebook page. On Facebook, Tarver threatened to sue parent if they continued to “spread the word about the abuse children had suffered at his hand”, according to yet another report by the Ocala Post. The report says, “Facebook user SandraRenee Seales St Denis told Ocala Post she had posted a message on Ocala’s Word of Mouth’s facebook page about how dangerous pain medications are for small children. Tarver then sent her a message threatening to sue her for slander if she “Kept This Up.””
Also from the Ocala Post, “Marcia Proctor told Ocala Post that Tarver wrote to her after she expressed her concerns as well. Tarver wrote, “I am suing you Monday morning if you continue to slander me.”
Besides a dentist, Michael Tarver says he is also a Certified Public Accountant and says he plans on perusing a career along those lines. If so, I see future visits by the IRS either to Tarver’s himself or clients he might have, don’t you?
I don’t believe that is his plan for a minute. I bet he’s seeing unsuspecting patients right now. Florida Statues empowers the State Surgeon General to suspend licensees to protect public health and safety. Dr.Tarver, along with his wife, Rebecca, also a dentist, own and operate Polliwog Dental, located in Ocala, Florida.
Rebecca Tarver, registered the business name, Churchill Pediatric Dentistry, LLC on October 8, 2013.
Don’t miss the comments at either of the news articles website page. They are enlightening as usual.
According to the Order, in April 2013, Dr. Tarver sedated a 4 year old little girl (R.R.) for a tooth extraction, the child died and had to be resuscitated. Tarver told employees if they mentioned this he would fire them, then sue them.
In June another 4 year old little girl (A.R.) was put under general anesthesia against the mother’s wishes. When the child was returned to her mother there were multiple lacerations and bruising on the little girl’s neck and shoulders. She had also urinated on herself. I could be wrong but to me it appears the child wasn’t cooperating and after fighting and trying to restraint the child, ole Dr. Tarver got fed-up and put the child out of his misery with a hypodermic needle, be it I.V. or otherwise.
In July, Department of Health investigators issued a subpoena to obtain medical records. Hours later Tarver asked his staff to log him into an interface where he altered several patient records, including the records of the two children mentioned above.
Polliwog Dental n./k./a./ Churchill Dentistry
225 S.E. 17th Street
Ocala, Florida 34471