Crimetracker: Update: Doctor facing drug related charges, search warrant released

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KNOXVILLE, TENN (WVLT)- UPDATE:

What started out as a domestic dispute led to much more. According to court documents, Dr. Michael LaPaglia's longtime girlfriend called police on September 2, after the doctor changed the locks and she couldn't get inside their Fox Cove Road home. She told officers she was worried about their three-year-old son and said LaPaglia had a "lifetime" supply of marijuana and other drugs and guns in the house.

LaPagalia allowed officers to follow him inside while he got the child's custody paperwork. Cops smelled marijuana and saw a vial containing an unknown substance on the bookshelf. LaPagalia wouldn't let them search a room near the workout room in the basement, so they got a search warrant and came back the next day.

Officers found 45 glass jars full of marijuana, 29 other jars with marijuana residue and 127 glass pipes. They also found 17 vials of different drugs, including propofolo and morphine, and five pill bottles filled with all kinds of prescription drugs. On top of that, they found three loaded guns and ammunition.

LaPaglia used to practice at Methodist Medical Center and most recently, was Medical Director for the Anderson County EMS. Hours after the drug bust, LaPaglia was fired from Team Health, the agency which contracts the county's medical director.

As of Tuesday, September 10, LaPaglia's medical license was still active.

LaPaglia is set to be arraigned on September 23.

PREVIOUS STORY:

An ER Doctor, is now facing drugs and weapons charges.

Knoxville Police say they found 2-pounds of high-grade pot, all kinds of prescription pills and several guns, inside Doctor Michael LaPaglia's home.

According to a police report they found, 52 diazepam (Valium) pills, 22 amphetamine pills, 24 Oxycodone pills, 2 bottles of Propofol, 7 vials of Succinylcholine, 2 vials of Marcaine, one vial of Bupivacaine, one vial of Flumazenil, 11 vials of Xylocaine, 2 vials of Lydocaine, one vial of Midazolam, one vial of Fentanyl, and one vial of Morphine.

He is out of jail now, but his troubles are far from over.

He's lost his county job and could face even more charges.

When KPD went to the home on Fox Cove Rd, they responded to a domestic call and when they got inside they smelled pot, which led them to more drugs.

Officers found 45 quart size jars of marijuana, hundreds of pieces of paraphernalia, dozens of prescription pills and weapons, inside this home.

LaPaglia used to practice at Methodist Medical Center and most recently, was Medical Director for the Anderson County EMS.

Methodist Medical tells Local 8 News LaPaglia hasn't worked for them for about 3 months but wouldn't tell us why.

Now, just hours after this week's drug bust, he was fired from Team Health, the agency that contracts the county's medical director.

Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank says it was a mutual decision, "we thought it was best, due to what was going on to name a new physician to handle the oversight."

Mayor Frank says she has read the reports and tells me there's no way the drugs cops found came from their facility.

"Many of the medications that were listed our EMS department does not carry those," she says, "Our controlled substances and our emergency medical department are not accessible by the medical directors."

And she wants to make sure this incident doesn't get in the way of saving lives.

"It's kind of a shocking situation, it's not a phone call anyone wants to receive and I do understand that you are innocent until proven guilty but, you also have to take precautions in the just-in-case. So I think the best course of action was taken."

LaPaglia is out of jail, however he was not interested in speaking with WVLT on Wednesday.

If his name sounds familiar it's because he is also the doctor who temporarily paralyzed a suspect to remove cocaine out of his body in 2010.

That search was later ruled unreasonable by an appeals court.

Frank told us the new Medical Director Dr. Peter Kay is interim until a permanent physician is named.

As of Wednesday evening, LaPaglia's medical license was still active.



Original Story 9/3/12, KNOXVILLE, TENN (WVLT)-An East Tennessee doctor is in trouble with the law after a drug bust.
Knoxville police arrested Dr. Michael LaPaglia Tuesday morning.

Officers were called out to his home on Fox Cove Road and that's when they smelled marijuana.

They found 2-pounds of high-grade marijuana and all kinds of prescription pills.

He faces several drug related charges.


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