AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) - The verdict in the Dr. James Corasanti case stunned WNY. But News 4 has learned the State Department of Health will punish the prominent Amherst physician for his misdemeanor DWI conviction.
We won't know until sentencing on Thursday of next week whether Dr. Corasanti goes to jail or not for that conviction, but what he is being punished professionally. Twelve jurors found Dr. Corasanti not guilty of five felonies and guilty of one misdemeanor DWI charge for an accident that killed 18-year-old Alexandria Rice last year.
COMPLETE COVERAGE | See our continuing coverage on Dr. James Corasanti
We asked some residents in Dr. Corasanti's hometown of Amherst, and many don't think the State Board for Professional Medical Conduct went far enough. The Board handed down a censure and reprimand with a $10,000 fine and probation for five years.
Ferdinand Morales opined, "They should've taken the license away from him."
The document reads, "While on probation the physician shall only practice medicine when supervised by a licensed physician, a sobriety monitor and a therapist."
None of them would have to be there during every medical procedure, according to attorney Brian Fitzgerald, who's familiar with cases like this.
"But that practice monitor would have to be aware of what he's doing, might have to periodically check in on what he's doing and would have to make sure that he's not working under the influence of alcohol, according to this consent order, or even using alcohol," Fitzgerald explained.
Dr. Corasanti also must submit to random unannounced blood breath or urine tests for presence of drugs or alcohol.
Amherst resident Jake Zaleski said, "Seeing the case, I know everyone wants to see justice and that a lot of people would probably say that he should get his license taken away, but what he did, it doesn't pertain to his practice."
But some think that what he does on the road, does have to to with his medical practice.
Laura Yates argued, "I think he should lose his license because he should know better. He's a role model and a physician. It should affect him like it's affecting the family of the deceased."
Lauren Zaleski added, "He is probably a great doctor and it probably doesn't have anything to do with that, but what he did was still...There's no justifying that."
Corasanti's attorney Joel Daniels tells News 4 he is very pleased with this consent order. It allows the doctor to continue practicing as a gastroenterologist and he has been since the trial ended.
The reason this is a consent order is Dr. Corasanti agreed to the punishment. The alternative could have been the State Board terminating his medical license.
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