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Tue Jul 23, 2013, 11:58 PM

In rare move, sheriff takes control of Central Texas Hospital; effort aimed at protecting community

In a highly unusual move, the Milam County Sheriff Department has wrested control of Central Texas Hospital in Cameron, heeding a court order that aims to prevent the facility’s owner from altering, hiding or destroying medical records and other property.

A temporary injunction was sought by the hospital’s building landlord, which cited “the recent conduct of defendant Dr. Tariq Mahmood in other situations,” and the need to avoid “real potential consequences” to the community.

I reported yesterday that the sheriff had shuttered the hospital’s main operations, leaving only the ER open. It is the latest action in a rapid government crackdown during the last week on Mahmood whose hospitals have endangered patients during the last four years and engaged in potential billing fraud — a record I chronicled in a July 14 investigation.

At the time of yesterday’s report, the events leading to Sheriff David Greene’s move in the town near Waco were unclear. His office is refusing to comment. But court records I obtained today show that the landlord petitioned for a temporary restraining order late Friday. That was the same day Gov. Rick Perry’s office disclosed he had initiated a “deep and comprehensive” investigation of Mahmood’s chain as well as regulatory failures.

More at http://watchdogblog.dallasnews.com/2013/07/in-rare-move-sheriff-takes-control-of-central-texas-hospital-court-coordinated-effort-aimed-at-protecting-community.html/ .

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