I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who have stood by my side and supported me during my defense of the charges brought against me by the Connecticut Department of Public Health. I have greatly appreciated the many expressions of caring and concern expressed through letters, attendance at the hearings in Hartford, during office appointments and more, as well as your support in the form of financial contributions to the Charles Ray Jones, M.D. Legal Defense Fund (CRJMDLDF). The strong solidarity expressed by the Lyme community on my behalf has been an important factor allowing me to persevere, and I am determined to see this process through to a successful conclusion. Words cannot express the extent and depth of my gratitude to each and every one of you.
In light of your concerns, and because your donations have been key to maintaining my legal defense, I feel that it is time to issue another ``state of the union'' regarding my case, as well as the status of the legal defense fund.
As of this date, the hearing panel assigned to my case is still in deliberations regarding the outcome of the charges against me. Even though the hearings themselves are finished, the hearing panel has been meeting over the past couple months to deliberate my case. I previously announced that we expected them to issue their decision sometime in the Fall of 2007. While I would like to interpret it as a positive sign that they have not issued a hasty decision, the lengthier time frame also has required ongoing attention from my legal team, with associated legal costs continuing to accrue. Also, as I had announced previously, the Connecticut Department of Public Health has indicated that it still plans to move forward with the four additional complaints brought against me, regardless of the outcome of the this case. These four complaints have been ``joined,'' meaning that all four complaints will be heard in one legal proceeding.
Recently, I issued a statement through Kay Lyon to the effect that my legal expenses have been running $1,000 per day. I would like to explain that this figure is derived from the bills which we have been receiving on a monthly basis, and includes legal fees, (e.g., legal research, preparation for and face time at meetings and at the hearings, etc.), fees incurred by expert witnesses and consultants, transportation, and so on. I continue to have the utmost confidence in my legal team, which is doing a remarkable job on my behalf, and ultimately for the children of Lyme who are so vitally in need of access to treatment.
I also would like to take this opportunity to clarify a misstatement attributed to me in an article published in the Yankee Magazine (July-August, 2007, p. 96), which stated: ``For his legal defense fund, almost a million dollars has been raised by his patients' parents and, in some cases, by his patients themselves.'' What I actually said was that, when all this is over, the legal costs related to my defense could well be in excess of one million dollars, including legal fees, expert witnesses' fees, transportation, and other costs. This pertains not only to the current case, but also to the costs incurred due to the four additional complaints.
Some of you have asked for more information regarding the management of the CRJMDLDF, and I would like to take this opportunity to address your questions. The CRJMDLDF is set up as a ``blind fund,'' meaning that I have no control over how the money is spent. Checks are made out to the CRJMDLDF and can only be deposited into an account administered by George Heath III, a certified public accountant, who has volunteered to take the position as comptroller of the fund. Only he can write checks to pay for legal expenses and other bills generated by my legal defense (expert witness fees, travel costs, etc.). Several other CPA's had volunteered to oversee the legal defense fund, but George Heath was first on board and has had a longstanding interest in matters related to Lyme disease.
Please note that the money earmarked for the CRJMDLDF is in no way connected with any Lyme disease advocacy group. Non-profit organizations by law are prohibited from becoming involved in legal defense funds. I state with the utmost assurance and confidence that any and all monies contributed to my legal defense fund are being utilized solely for my legal defense, and for no other purpose.
With all this in mind, it is important for you to understand that we must keep a balance of at least $30,000 in the legal defense fund at all times, to ensure that funds will be available when needed:
At the present time, the legal fund is exceedingly low, and we are barely able to meet our expenses. More funds are urgently needed.
While it pains me deeply to see the already stretched resources of the Lyme community going to pay for legal fees, instead of much needed medical treatment and research, it is nevertheless vitally important that we prevail in our current efforts. With this in mind, I once again must ask you to consider a donation to the CRJMDLDF, in whatever amount your circumstances permit. For those of you who are unable to contribute financially, please know that your letters and other expressions of support have been vitally important as well.
You may donate to my fund in either of two ways:
1) By check: make payable to the CRJMDLDF; write ``gift'' in the memo section and mail to:
-------------------- There is no wealth but life. -John Ruskin
All truth goes through 3 stages: first it is ridiculed: then it is violently opposed: finally it is accepted as self evident. - Schopenhauer Posts: 5639 | From Aptos CA USA | Registered: Apr 2005
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Frequent Contributor (1K+ posts)
Member # 1129
sad,sad,SAD indeed!! But can anyone honestly say they didnt see this coming??
Wish it wasnt so, but it is!!!
-------------------- just don Posts: 4548 | From Middle of midwest | Registered: May 2001
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