Tag Archives: arafiles

Full Circle: Winkler County Atty Tidwell Has License Suspended

scott tidwell

Things have been coming full circle in the extraordinary case of the Winkler County Texas Nurse Whistleblower Case over the past year and that circle may just have closed. The last bit of justice seems to have been served with the suspension of former Winkler County Attorney Scott Tidwell’s license to practice law in the state of Texas.

It all began in 2009 when Anne Mitchell and Vicki Galle, two nurses working at Winkler County Memorial Hospital who were responsible for Quality Assurance, Risk Management and Medical Staff privileges advised hospital administrator Stan Wiley that one of their physicians, Dr. Rolando Arafiles, had violated the standard of care, hospital policies and made some serious medical errors. Wiley refused to take any action and told the two they were prohibited from reporting Arafiles to any outside agency without his approval, in violation of state law.

Concerned over the safety of their … (Continued...)

Winkler Atty Tidwell Not Indigent Judge Rules

Scott Tidwell

No one can say just how many lessons former Winkler County Attorney Scott Tidwell will need before he begins to consider the obvious facts that he is not the smartest person in the room, or in possession of any sort of brilliant legal mind, but he got another one on Friday.

Tidwell was convicted in October on two counts each of felony retaliation, felony misuse of official information and misdemeanor official oppression for his role in bringing about the Winkler County Memorial Hospital whistle-blowing nurses trial. He was sentenced to four months in jail, 10 years probation and a $6,000 fine. Despite the overwhelming evidence presented against him, and his decision to present no defense whatsoever or call any witnesses, Tidwell has filed an appeal.

Part of the required appellate process requires the appellant to request the clerk of the trial court to prepare a copy of the case … (Continued...)

Winkler’s Tidwell Files Claim Of Indigence For Appeal Fees

scott tidwell

Convicted felon and former Winkler County attorney Scott Tidwell says his household monthly income of $4,500 equates to being indigent and unable to foot the bill for his legal costs in appealing October’s convictions. For his role in the now infamous Winkler County Nurse Whistleblower retaliation case a jury found him guilty of 4 felonies and 2 misdemeanors.  He was sentenced to four months in jail, 10 years probation and a $6,000 fine.  Tidwell, former Sheriff Robert Roberts, and Dr. Rolando Arafiles were all convicted of felonies and sent to jail. Former hospital administrator Stan Wiley turned state’s evidence and sang like a bird in exchange for a reduction in his charges to misdemeanors and a shortened jail term.

Roberts and Tidwell were removed public offices, and Arafiles and Roberts both lost their licenses. The State Bar of Texas has refused to comment on whether they will rescind Tidwell’s license. … (Continued...)

Texas Attorney General News Release Re: Dr. Arafiles

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The following is a news release from the Office of the Attorney General of Texas:

11/07/2011 Former Winkler County Memorial Hospital Physician Sentenced for Scheme to Fire Nurses In 2009

Rolando Arafiles Jr. to serve jail time, surrender medical license

KERMIT – A former Winkler County Memorial Hospital physician today pleaded guilty to misusing his position and coordinating with local officials to retaliate against two nurses who filed an anonymous complaint against him with the Texas Medical Board.

Rolando Arafiles Jr., 59, pleaded guilty to two third-degree felonies – misuse of official information and retaliation. Visiting Judge Robert H. Moore III sentenced Arafiles to five years deferred adjudication probation, 60 days in the Andrews County Jail and a $5,000 fine. Arafiles also must surrender his license to practice medicine.

With today’s guilty plea, Arafiles admits to urging former Winkler County Sheriff Robert Roberts and County Attorney Scott Tidwell to … (Continued...)

Arafiles Giulty In Sweetheart Plea Deal: 2 Months Jail Time

winkler nurses and arafiles

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 

$5,000 fine

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 … (Continued...)

Winkler Nurse Whistleblower Target Dr. Arafiles Surrenders License

arafiles

Kermit, TX -With a hearing scheduled for Monday in a local criminal courtroom where Dr. Rolando Arafiles is expected to enter a guilty plea in an agreement with prosecutors, it appears he has complied with what is likely one of the stipulations of his deal. On Friday, Arafiles signed an agreement with the Texas Medical Board to surrender his license to practice medicine according to the Associated Press. No pending investigation by the Board or other events that we are aware of brought this about. 

 Arafiles has been 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 … (Continued...)

Winkler Dr. Arafiles To Plead Guilty To Felony Charges Nov. 7

Rolando Arafiles

Texas State Attorney David Glickler is saying that Dr. Rolando Arafiles, the physician at the center of the Winkler County Nurse whistleblower retaliation case, is scheduled to enter a guilty plea in court on November 7 at 2 pm.

Arafiles is charged, like former County Attorney Scott Tidwell, former Winkler County Memorial Hospital administrator Stan Wiley and former Sheriff Robert Roberts, with two counts each of felony misuse of official information, retaliation and misdemeanor official oppression.

Both Tidwell and Roberts were found guilty in jury trials. Roberts was sentenced to 100 days in jail, four years probation and his license was stripped. Tidwell was sentenced to 120 days in jail, 10 years probation and was removed from his post. Wiley turned state’s evidence and entered into a plea deal where he plead guilty to a misdemeanor and spent 30 days in the slammer. 

Details of Arafiles plea agreement are unknown … (Continued...)

Dr. Arafiles Indicted On Felony Perjury

Rolando Arafiles

Dr. Rolando Arafiles, currently awaiting trial on felony charges for his role in the Winkler County Nurse atrocity, has even more to worry about now. Law Med has learned that this past Thursday Arafiles was indicted on by an Andrews County, TX grand jury on aggravated perjury charges for giving false testimony Fecruary 8, 2010 on the witness stand during the trial of Winkler nurse Anne Mitchell. Mitchell was found not guilty by a jury who said they deliberated for 5 minutes before it was clear they all agreed and then chatted about other things because they felt returning in less than an hour would be disrespectful to the lawyers who had worked so hard.

Arafiles answered, “I don’t know, sir,” when asked if he knew how Winker County Sheriff Robert Roberts came to possess contact information for 10 hospital patients who had only been identified by chart numbers … (Continued...)

Hear The Story of the Winkler County Nurses from Those Involved [AUDIO]

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A production from WBEZ’s This American Life on the “Old Boy’s Network”. Hear Anne Mitchell, the Winkler Nurse prosecuted and found innocent after being arrested and charged with a felony, her co-author of the complaint to the Texas Medical Board, Vickie Galle, their attorney John Cook, and various other co-workers and patients of Dr. Rolando Arafiles, telling their stories in their own words. Read all about the saga on our Winkler County Page.

In a small west Texas town called Kermit, two nurses were accused of harassment after they complained to the medical board that a doctor was putting patients in danger. The nurses were fired and then arrested, facing ten years in prison. Reporter Saul Elbein found that a group of powerful men in Kermit went to extreme and sometimes ridiculous lengths to try to bring down these nurses. Saul wrote a version of this story for the

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Jury Gets Winkler County Sheriff Case Today [VIDEO]

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As this goes to press the attorneys in the criminal trial of Winkler County Sheriff Robert Roberts are delivering their closing arguments to the jury. Closing arguments and jury instructions should be completed by mid-day and once completed the jury will be given the case for deliberation. Law Med would expect a verdict before days end but juries can be unpredictable. But let’s face it…this is not a complicated case.

Jurors certainly will not have to spend much time sifting through the evidence presented by the defense. Yesterday’s defense witnesses spent the morning telling the jury what a great guy the sheriff is. Defense witnesses Friday did more of the same with some ‘Anne Mitchell  is a hard ass’ theme ribboned throughout. The defense rested its case, such that it was, around 11am yesterday. After some bickering amongst the attorneys as to when closing arguments should begin, the judge left … (Continued...)

Dr. Arafiles Working At Cozby Germany Hospital In Texas

arafiles

Healthcare in Grand Saline, Texas has been a major concern to local residents of late…..and with very good reason. The local Cozby Germany Hospital used to be owned by the citizens of Grand Saline. Dr. Tariq Mahmood now leases the facility and in February he fired  the chief of staff, Dr. Richard Ingrim, and a number of employees, under controversial circumstances. From KMOO 99.9:

 

 

 

According to Dr. Ingrim both Mahmood and the hospital Administrator, Sean Astolfo are behind the firings. Ingrim said he was fired directly by Mr. Astolfo who told him he was being terminated “because of what [Astolfo] thought had been inappropriate actions because [they] had been actively trying to move things in more of a positive manner at the hospital.” [Emphasis added in light of who they have now hired as a physician]

Ingrim  said that he believes that the terminations are

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