Friday, May 25, 2012

Surgeon General Thompson: Happy it's over

Posted By on Fri, May 25, 2012 at 11:12 AM

As promised yesterday, Arkansas Surgeon General Joe Thompson issued a statement today about the resolution of charges filed against him by Little Rock police after a dispute with officers at his home. Eventually, all charges will be dismissed, under an agreement reached by Prosecutor Larry Jegley with Thompson and in consultation with Police Chief Stuart Thomas.

His statement:

I am happy to report that today the misdemeanor charges associated with my arrest at my home on March 31 have been put to rest. The Pulaski county prosecuting attorney’s office and my attorney presented to the court an agreement that will dismiss the charges without further proceedings.

I want to point out that the dash cam video and audio recording of the incident proves that I clearly did not make the quoted statements attributed to me in the police report that were the basis for the charge of attempting to influence an officer. Thank you to the individuals who secured and released this evidence. I am also grateful to my attorney, Jack Lassiter, who successfully guided me through a process I have never before had the misfortune of having to deal with.

More than anything, I am thankful to my friends, family and others I have met for their concern and support—and to my colleagues who have not only supported me but who have had to take up some of the slack resulting from distractions of the last few weeks.

I have great respect for and have worked closely with police officers and troopers across the state to assist in the health and safety of our citizens. I believe my experience that evening does not reflect the usual professionalism in our law enforcement agencies.

With this behind me, I look forward to being fully engaged in the ongoing work undertaken to transform the Arkansas health care system that will lead to healthier and more productive lives for all of our citizens.

Joseph W. Thompson, MD, MPH

A spokesman said he didn't plan to give interviews today.

Thompson's attorney Jack Lassiter answered definitively a question I posed last night. Will there be further legal action, such as a civil lawsuit, over the arrest?

There are no plans for a lawsuit.

Lassiter said he'd have no further comment.

I wrote at some length last night about the agreement, completed yesterday morning in Little Rock District Court. Hat tip to self: Nobody else had this news until today. Tomorrow, the DOG will get around to it.

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