DOVER, Del. (AP) — Gov. Jack Markell said he will order an independent review of Delaware’s handling of investigations involving a pediatrician accused of sexually abusing possibly more than 100 patients.
Markell told The Associated Press that “the system failed,” but he doesn’t know where or how.
“Without jeopardizing the prosecution, we’re going to need to conduct a top-to-bottom review to make sure we have the right safeguards in place to protect our children,” said Markell, who didn’t give a time frame on when the review would begin.
Dr. Earl Bradley, 56, is being held in lieu of $2.9 million bond after being charged last month with more than 30 felonies, including rape. The governor’s call for a review comes amid reports that Bradley was investigated by police in 2005 and 2008, though the state’s medical licensing board claims it never knew.
Bradley’s medical license was suspended after his arrest. Police contend they tried to tell the board in 2005 but were turned away by an investigator who said the victim’s family had to come forward.
Delaware law requires medical professionals, state agencies and law enforcement to report to the licensing board in writing within 30 days if they believe a doctor may be guilty of unprofessional conduct
“The bottom line is that we’ve got a number of victims who suffered from this man,” Markell told the AP. “… We have many conflicting reports about who did what.”
Bradley was arrested after a 2-year-old girl told her mother that Bradley hurt her Dec. 7 when he took her to the basement of his office after an exam. Authorities have since identified at least 12 other suspected victims and say there could be more than 100.
Markell told AP about his review Wednesday, and Attorney General Beau Biden announced the next day he would direct the state solicitor to examine whether the system failed.
On Friday, a Beebe Medical Center spokesman acknowledged that the hospital did not notify the medical board in 2005 that it required Bradley to have a chaperone when he made his rounds after hearing rumors about complaints against him in Pennsylvania. The hospital also failed to notify the board after police asked for access to Bradley’s personnel records earlier that year.
After The News Journal of Wilmington obtained a search warrant affidavit, Beebe spokesman Wallace Hudson admitted that a previous assertion that officials were unaware of allegations against Bradley was incorrect.