- Associated Press - Thursday, September 10, 2015

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - A South Dakota medical board voted Thursday to revoke former Republican U.S. Senate candidate Annette Bosworth’s medical license after weighing her felony conviction for election law violations.

The South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners members who voted unanimously decided to reject Bosworth’s plea to keep her license. Some members recused themselves. Jurors found Bosworth guilty in May of perjury and filing false documents in relation to the state’s 2014 Republican primary election.

During her criminal trial, Bosworth, 43, said she never intended to mislead anyone when she attested to signatures on campaign documents she didn’t actually witness as required by state law. She was out of the country on a medical mission trip at the time.

Bosworth, who represented herself during the license proceedings, said that she has never denied those actions but argued they don’t warrant taking away her livelihood and medical license.

Craig Kennedy, an attorney for the medical board staff, said that Bosworth’s conduct makes her a threat to the public and said her conviction raises questions about whether she would tell patients the truth. He also argued that the board needs to protect confidence in the medical profession.

“The message the public will receive if Annette Bosworth is allowed to continue to practice medicine will be that the profession tolerates doctors who lie even to the extent of felonious perjury,” Kennedy said to the board.

Bosworth, a doctor of internal medicine, said she doesn’t believe she’s a danger to the public.

“I am a good physician. That has never been questioned,” Bosworth told the board. “I love being a physician, and I’m here fighting for that because I don’t think that signing the petition for six signatures translates to me being a bad doctor.”

Medical board staff recommended Bosworth’s license be revoked after her sentencing in July, and Thursday’s vote follows the recommendations of an independent hearing examiner who heard arguments in the medical license case later that month.

Medical board members voted without discussion to revoke Bosworth’s license after a short period of private deliberation. Members ignored repeated requests for comment on the reasoning behind the decision.

Bosworth, who finished fourth of five candidates in the GOP primary last year, avoided prison when a judge gave her a suspended sentence, provided she complete three years of probation. The probation includes 500 hours of community service and covering court costs and paying for the county’s costs of prosecution.

She is appealing to the state Supreme Court.

Bosworth argued during her trial that the prosecution was politically motivated, but her defense attorneys largely relied on the argument that Bosworth knew little about the political process and received bad advice from a consultant, who denied that.

“I prayed a dangerous prayer. I said, ‘God use me,’” Bosworth told reporters after the hearing. “Tomorrow, I’ll wake up and I’ll do my devotions just like I always do, and I’ll assess what I’ve got left and figure out how can I serve with those skills and those talents, how can I serve the best with what I’ve got left.”

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