- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 2, 2014

CUMBERLAND, Md. (AP) - A suspended physician at the center of a state licensing scandal agreed Tuesday to permanently surrender his Maryland medical license to resolve charges he sexually assaulted a female patient at a walk-in clinic in April.

The deal announced in Allegany County Circuit Court leaves Dr. William T. Dando, 60, of Rawlings, still facing a civil lawsuit alleging he molested another woman at the same clinic last year. He hasn’t responded to that allegation.

Dando wrote in a letter to the Maryland Board of Physicians that he no longer wishes to practice medicine. He also indicated he would not contest the board’s investigative findings that led to his license suspension in early June for unprofessional conduct that included unwanted sexual contact with a third female patient last January.

Meanwhile, the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is investigating how Dando obtained a Maryland license in 1996 despite his 1987 conviction for raping a woman at gunpoint near Orlando, Florida.

The state Board of Physicians is pursuing legislative authority to conduct criminal background checks on medical license applicants in Maryland, one of three states that don’t require such scrutiny.

Dando declined to comment as he left the Allegany County courthouse after a brief hearing at which prosecutors announced the state would drop misdemeanor charges of fourth-degree sex offense and perverted practice.

“Evidentiary-wise, the case wasn’t a strong case,” Assistant State’s Attorney Jacqueline Brandlen told the judge. She called it a “he-said, she-said type of case.”

Brandlen said the alleged victim agreed to the deal.

“The victim wanted him to lose his medical license,” she said.

The alleged victim’s lawyer didn’t immediately respond to a message left at his office.

The 41-year-old woman told police she had gone to the MedExpress Urgent Care Center in LaVale in April because she was having problems with medication Dando had previously prescribed. She said Dando improperly touched her during a pelvic examination and asked her if it hurt or felt good. She told police that when she tearfully implored Dando to stop, he did and then asked for a hug.

His second accuser, from neighboring West Virginia, filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against Dando and MedExpress last month, alleging he fondled her during an examination for a back injury in September 2013.

MedExpress, based in Morgantown, West Virginia, has declined to comment on that case and hasn’t yet filed a formal response.

State’s Attorney Michael Twigg said in an interview that the woman whose allegations were the subject of Tuesday’s hearing was the only one to seek criminal charges.

State medical board executive director Christine Farrelly said the panel will report Dando’s letter of surrender to other states as a sanction.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean Dando can’t become licensed in another state, said David Paulson, a spokesman for the Maryland attorney general’s office.

“Since all states have a form of reciprocity when it comes to licensing physicians, what they do when one is disciplined in Maryland would be their decision,” Paulson wrote in an email

Dando never had a Florida medical license, according to regulators there.

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