Arafiles Giulty In Sweetheart Plea Deal: 2 Months Jail Time
Former Winkler County Memorial Hospital physician Rolando Arafiles has plead guilty in a Texas courtroom in exchange for a sweetheart of a deal with the prosecution. As we predicted, Arafiles will be doing jail time. Here are the stipulations and sentence:
2 months in jail
Surrender of his medical license (which he did Friday)
5 years probation
If Arafiles complies with all the terms of his probation the conviction will be expunged from his record, an important consideration if he plans on getting his medical license back. This deferred adjudication agreement makes the whole plea deal worth it for Arafiles. Had he gone to trial and been convicted by a jury, the chances of his having this option were far from certain.
Arafiles guilty plea brings to a close the saga of the Winkler County Nurses. Arafiles was charged with two counts of felony misuse of official information and retaliation against two former Winkler County Memorial Hospital nurses who anonymously reported him to the state medical board for shoddy patient care. When Arafiles learned of the complaint he enlisted the help of then county sheriff Robert Roberts, who was his friend, patient and sometimes business partner. Roberts left no stone unturned, seizing patient records and computers at the hospital. Ultimately he was able to get the local prosecutor to sign on, convene a grand jury and had the nurses charged with one of the same felonies he now faces: misuse of official information. Charges were dropped against one just before trial and the other was found not guilty.
Arafiles has watched as his similarly charged cohorts, Roberts and county attorney Scott Tidwell, were convicted on all counts and sentenced to 100 and 120 days in jail respectively. Both of the former county officials were removed from office upon conviction.