LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Responsible for the deaths of three veterans. Now a pathologist, who was fired from a Northwest Arkansas veterans hospital after he had been impaired while on duty, was charged Tuesday with involuntary manslaughter. It was discovered Dr. Robert Levy allegedly misdiagnosed them and later altered records to conceal his mistakes. Levy is also facing multiple charges of fraud and making false statements to cover his tracks.
Attorney Duane Kees said in a press conference “In doing so, he was allowed to stay employed with the Veterans Administration, thus earning a salary, benefits and possibly a bonus.” Levy was earning $225,000 a year while working at the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville.
VA officials said in January that outside pathologists reviewed nearly 34,000 cases handled by Levy and found more than 3,000 errors or missed diagnoses dating back to 2005. Levy has acknowledged that he once showed up to work at the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks drunk in 2016, but he denied that he had worked while impaired.
Levy pleaded not guilty at Tuesday’s hearing.
In the deaths, Levy is accused of falsifying entries in his patients’ records after making incorrect and misleading diagnoses. In one case, a patient died of prostate cancer after Levy’s determined that his biopsy showed he didn’t have cancer, prosecutors allege. In another case, Levy is accused of falsifying that a second pathologist agreed with his incorrect diagnosis.
Levy ingested 2-methyl-2-butanol, a chemical that would intoxicate him, but not show up on a standard drug and alcohol test. Levy is accused of lying to hospital officials when he told them he wasn’t under the influence of any intoxicants.