The former chief-of-staff at the Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical Center can practice medicine again, at least temporarily.
An administrative law judge has ruled the state Medical Examining Board was wrong to order an emergency suspension of Dr. David Houlihan’s medical license before a state agency could finish its probe into alleged misconduct at the Tomah VA.
Houlihan was nicknamed the “Candy Man” for what investigators called an excessive approval of opiate painkillers to veterans hospitalized at the Tomah VA. He was fired after a patient died from a mix of those medications.
Regulators moved to suspend Houlihan’s license after it was learned he was trying to open a private psychiatric practice. WKOW-TV reported that the judge ordered the suspension lifted because the state’s medical board did not adequately show why it should continue. The decision means Houlihan can practice medicine until regulators finish a formal misconduct investigation.