The legal saga of Dr. Paul Madison, the downtown Riverside-based pain management doctor whose medical license was suspended by the state in November 2016, took another turn last week, when his attorney filed a notice in U.S. District Court to withdraw from the case.

Madison was indicted by the U.S. government in 2012, accused of submitting more than $3 million in false medical bills to insurance companies and the federal worker’s compensation program between 2005 and 2009.

However, he retained his medical license and was one of two doctors prescribing powerful opioid pain medications at the Riverside clinic until late 2016. The other, Dr. William McMahon, had his license suspended by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation in October 2016 for prescribing controlled substances “for non-therapeutic purposes.” His medical license was made permanently inactive in November 2016.

Madison’s license was suspended on Nov. 29, 2016, the day after McMahon’s was made inactive, also for prescribing controlled substances for non-therapeutic purposes. His license has remained suspended since that time.

The two doctors prescribed pain medications for patients at Riverside Pain Management at 28 E. Burlington St. in Riverside. The office administrator for that clinic is Dr. Joseph Giacchino, whose medical license was revoked by the state in 2011 for improperly prescribing controlled substances and offering medications in exchange for sexual acts with a patient.

In the state’s petition for temporary suspension of Madison’s medical license in November 2016, Laura E. Forester, chief of medical prosecutions for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation stated that DEA investigators in 2014 interviewed one of Madison’s patients at the Riverside clinic.

That patient alleged that “she had sexual contact with Giacchino at [Madison’s] Riverside Clinic and she believed that [Madison] was aware of Giacchino’s sexually inappropriate conduct with the patient.” 

The Riverside clinic remains in operation. According to the clinic’s website, the person now serving as the clinic’s primary physician is Dr. James E. Kolar, whose principle office, according to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, is in Sycamore.

In a court filing dated Feb. 15, attorney William J. Stevens stated that he wanted to withdraw as the attorney representing Madison in the 2012 federal case because his relationship with the physician had suffered “an irreparable breakdown.”

Stevens will formally present his motion to withdraw to Judge Robert M. Dow Jr. at a status hearing scheduled for March 1 at the Everett M. Dirksen Federal Courthouse in Chicago.

Among the reasons Stevens gave in the filing was that Madison had refused to pay attorney’s fees and had failed “to provide for appropriate expert consultation and trial preparation support.”

Stevens said in the filing that one of Madison’s defenses in the 2012 case was that “disloyal employees” had inflated bills and stole the money. Madison told his attorney, according to the filing, that he would hire a forensic accountant and an investigator to develop that defense, but never did.

Also at issue in the case is computer evidence, about which issues were raised regarding admissibility. Madison also failed to hire a computer consultant to prepare a report for a pre-trial hearing, Stevens said in his filing.

In addition, another attorney Madison hired to assist in trial preparation has not returned Stevens’ phone calls, resulting in “a complete breakdown in the attorney client relationship,” Stevens wrote.

Meanwhile, Madison surfaced as an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal lawsuit filed in November 2016 in Massachusetts against executives of a company marketing a fentanyl spray that’s supposed to be prescribed to cancer patients to treat breakthrough pain.

The lawsuit identified Madison as one of 10 doctors identified by the company to aggressively prescribe the powerful opioid drug, often to non-cancer patients, in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars in fees for what federal prosecutors termed “sham” speaking engagements about the drug.