Update below: Hampers's employer responds. Look below the original item for the update.
Dr. Louis Hampers, a prominent staffer at The Children's Hospital in Aurora, has temporarily lost his medical license.
This week, Hampers signed an Interim Cessation of Practice Agreement at the request of the Colorado Medical Board, which is actively investigating Hampers in two separate cases.
According to the agreement, a medical board inquiry panel "had reasonable grounds to believe that (Hampers) has deliberately and willfully violated the Colorado Medical Practice Act." The agreement states that the panel concluded that "the public health, safety, or welfare imperatively requires emergency action" and voted to suspend Hampers's license.
But rather than have his license suspended by the board, Hampers agreed to stop practicing medicine "pending further evaluation and investigation." While the agreement stipulates it is not a finding that Hampers engaged in "unprofessional conduct," it will remain in effect until the medical board says otherwise.
Chris Lines, a spokesman for the state Department of Regulatory Agencies and the medical board, says he can't reveal the nature of the two open investigations regarding Hampers.
Hampers has been licensed to practice medicine in Colorado since 1999, when he was hired as an associate professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. In addition to teaching classes, Hampers worked at Children's, where he's been the section chief of pediatric emergency medicine since 2006. He also had privileges at Parker Adventist Hospital -- which he surrendered as part of the agreement.
But Hampers hasn't worked since April 7, when he took a paid leave of absence. (Hampers's salary is $206,000 a year.) His leave immediately preceded two April court dates for a hearing on a permanent restraining order filed against him by 9News investigative reporter Deborah Sherman. The two met on an adult website and had one lunch date in January. When Sherman told Hampers she didn't want to go on a second date, he stalked and harassed her for months.
Sherman won that case and has now filed a civil lawsuit against Hampers, alleging defamation and emotional distress, among other charges. In his answer to the suit, Hampers denies that he threatened Sherman.
It's not clear whether Hampers still has a job. A spokeswoman for Children's Hospital referred all questions about Hampers's employment to Jacque Montgomery, the spokeswoman for the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Montgomery is waiting on some answers; we'll update this story when she gets back to us.
As for Hampers, his new lawyer, Victoria Lovato of Denver, says she's not authorized to discuss the case. But Lovato invited us to e-mail her a list of questions. As of this morning, she had not answered them; again, we'll update this story if she does.
Hampers himself may not even be in Colorado anymore. The Interim Cessation of Practice Agreement he signed was notarized in Virginia. A Google search indicates that one of Hampers's brothers, both of whom are doctors, practices medicine there.
Update, Thursday, August 26, 12:35 p.m.: Montgomery e-mailed us this statement: "The University of Colorado School of Medicine is evaluating the situation given this action." Will Hampers soon be out of a job? We'll let you know as soon as we hear.
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