Stewart filed lawsuits against Stanford Drug and Hill’s Pharmacy in Liberty, alleging they refused to fill prescriptions from the clinic and insulted its patients while spreading false claims that he was a “pill pusher.” Those cases are still pending, said the clinic’s attorney, Allen Woods of Nashville.
Stewart also filed a complaint against Rockcastle County Deputy Barry Adams, claiming he waged a personal campaign against Advanced Care by advising area pharmacies not to honor prescriptions from the clinic and harassed its patients, claiming he was a federal agent and the clinic was under investigation and about to be closed down.
That lawsuit, initially filed in Lincoln Circuit Court, was dropped after it was learned that Adams does actually work for the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and the case was transferred to federal court in Lexington.
Stewart himself had struggled with prescription drug addiction in the past. He was ordered to undergo rehabilitation, and his medical license was restricted by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure after a DEA investigation in 1999 revealed he pre-signed blank prescriptions and had been writing prescriptions for large amounts of controlled substances with multiple refills to two patients, who would in turn share some of the pills with Stewart,
In an interview with The Advocate-Messenger last year, Stewart admitted he became hooked on painkillers following back-to-back hip replacement surgeries but went through treatment and remained “clean.”
“I’m still active in recovery circles,” he said at the time. “I do a lot of counseling with people who have taken too many pills.”
Stewart could not be reached for comment on the closing of the Moreland clinic. The clinic’s attorney, Woods, said Stewart, because of poor health, would no longer be seeing patients at the clinic’s Lexington location.
The stress of being unfairly scrutinized and harassed by law enforcement and others while working in Moreland contributed to Stewart’s poor health, Woods and Pelphrey suggested.
“The unfair targeting by law enforcement and other businesses certainly took its toll on him,” Woods said.
The attorney, however, said the clinic did not leave Moreland because it was run out of town.
“Business had been great across the board,” Woods said. “I don’t think they succumbed to anything. It was purely a business decision. Dr. Stewart’s services provided a significant amount of revenue for the clinic and he is no longer able to work for health reasons.”