NEW ULM - Dr. David Christopher Miller, a New Ulm physician, has entered a plea deal in which he will admit guilt to stealing 56 Oxycontin pills from a vulnerable adult in February.
Miller, age 59, will plead guilty to one count of third-degree theft of a controlled substance, a felony, in exchange for dismissal of two felony counts of possessing a controlled substance. The theft is the most serious charge, and he could possibly face jail time when he is sentenced.
Miller was charged after New Ulm Police investigators set up hidden surveillance that recorded him stealing pills during a meeting with a patient. The pills were later recovered in his coat pocket. The complaint alleged he tried to mask taking the pills from the patient by replacing them with over-the-counter drugs.
Dr. David Christopher Miller
At this point, the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice has not taken any action against Miller because a determination by court of wrongdoing had not been made. With the guilty plea, it is expected the Board and the New Ulm Medical Center will make their own determination on any disciplinary actions.
Sentencing hearing is set for Sept. 23.
In February, Miller was employed as a physician with the Physicians Group of New Ulm and as a consulting doctor from the New Ulm Medical Center for Brown County's detox center. His responsibilities at the detox center cover consulting with officials on how to handle medical or health problems with new client admissions.
Miller has previously reported and received disciplinary action over multiple forms of substance abuse by the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice.
The Board filed a Corrective Action against Miller on July 16, 1994. At that time, he was confirmed to have sought treatment at The Terraces in Ephrata, Pa. for depression and alcohol/chemical dependency. In addition to alcohol, he used cannabis several times weekly and took five to 30 Percocet tablets daily under the guise of obtaining "samples." The order says he later wrote prescriptions for himself under false patient names and abused other drugs like tranquilizers, barbiturates, amphetamines and hallucinogens.
He was ordered to abstain from controlled substances and to undergo treatment, but he violated the terms two months later by writing prescriptions to himself for Precodan and Percocet. He received a Disciplinary Action by the Board on March 11, 1995 and had his medical license restricted.
Miller's license was reinstated without conditions on Sept. 9, 2000 after following the terms of his Disciplinary Action.
(Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)