Dr. Alexander: I’m a good doctor

Dr. Rober Alexander speaks with Target 8 investigator Ken Kolker. (Nov. 19, 2014)

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Dr. Robert Alexander, who ran an abortion clinic shut down by the City of Muskegon because of filthy and dangerous conditions, told Target 8 on Wednesday he is a “good doctor” who didn’t botch abortions.

He blamed pro-life groups for his troubles, including the recent death of his wife.

“Botched abortions is when abortions are done wrong,” he said. “Every patient is handled with care; every patient is handled with delicate gloves.”

Wednesday, the state Board of Medicine Disciplinary Subcommittee suspended Alexander’s license for six months and a day and told him he would need to pay a $75,000 fine if he wants to get it back. The state said he would have to file a petition with the Board if he wanted to reinstate his license and that it wouldn’t be automatic.

The suspension followed a finding that he was negligent and incompetent in how he operated his Women’s Medical Services Clinic, located at 863 E. Apple Ave. in Muskegon, which was shut down in December 2012.

After Wednesday’s hearing, Alexander told Target 8 that he has no plans to return to practice, though he did say he had to “deal with patients” later in the day.

Alexander said he volunteers for a hospice program, but he wouldn’t say where.

The state said his suspension begins in three days.

Alexander blamed pro-life groups, including Right to Life, for conspiring to shut him down. He pointed to an anti-abortion group’s newsletter, saying it proves that a pro-life group had planted an employee at his clinic to shut him down. He said it was that employee who was responsible for keeping his office clean.

Several members of pro-life groups were in the hallway outside the state hearing room on Wednesday as Alexander spoke with Target 8. They denied his conspiracy allegations, saying it was the clinic worker who contacted them about the conditions.

“May I remind you it was the fire marshal that shut the building down,” Genevieve Marnon from Right to Life of Michigan told Alexander. “It had nothing to do with the Board of Medicine or the state investigators. The fire marshal shut the building down.”

“No, no, no, no,” Alexander responded.

Alexander also alleged that pro-life groups had harassed him and his wife and that the harassment led to his wife’s cardiac arrest in September. Mary Alexander was 60.

Alexander’s latest troubles first came to light in December 2012 after a reported break-in at Women’s Medical Services Clinic.

Inside, the city found blood on the floor and walls, uncovered buckets of unidentified fluids in the operating room area, blood dripping from a sink p-trap in a patient room, biohazard bags on the floor and closets, unsecured containers of used hypodermic needles, unsecured medication and patient records scattered around the office, according to records.

Alexander at first told the state that Right to Life activists had broken in and caused the damage. He later blamed the former employee. He claimed the bloody instruments had been left behind by another doctor. He also said he was bipolar and blamed his condition for the mess.

An administrative law judge found he was not “trustworthy” and ruled he was negligent and incompetent.

“The evidence is overwhelming that Dr. Alexander failed to adhere to the most minimal standards of cleanliness and sanitary conditions,” the judge wrote. “The ultimate responsibility lies with Robert Alexander and he failed miserably in his obligation of due care.”

A Target 8 investigation last year revealed Alexander had been the target of repeated allegations of botched abortions — allegations dismissed without investigation by the then-chairman of the Michigan Board of Medicine, Dr. George Shade. Years before that, Shade had helped Alexander get his license back after a prescription drug conviction.

Target 8’s investigation led to a new state law requiring better oversight.

After Wednesday’s hearing, Alexander evaded questions about Dr. Shade.

“I don’t know anything about that,” he said, when asked about Shade’s involvement in his botched-abortion cases.

When asked if he knew Dr. Shade, he answered: “I’ve heard of him.”

He said he wasn’t sure what he would do next.

“My life is going in another direction,” he said.

When asked which direction, he replied:

“I don’t know at this point. I’ve got to pray and ask the Lord for directions.”

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