The Bismarck Tribune
By Janell Cole
June 6, 1996

A district judge said Wednesday that the state Board of Medical Examiners did not act unreasonably when it suspended the medical license of a Minot psychiatrist last month. Dr. James Bland’s license was suspended in an emergency order the board issued May 16 when the Commission on Medical Competency said he had acquired “a substantial amount of poisons, explosives and other materials with no reasonable explanation as to their legitimate use.” Bland and his attorney, Chad Nodland of Bismarck, appealed the suspension to South Central District Court, saying board’s action was illegal and unconstitutional.

Nodland said the board should be sanctioned and ordered to pay Bland’s attorney fees. But Judge Bruce Haskell disagreed. “I do find the temporary suspension was reasonable and not arbitrary,” said at the end of a court hearing Wednesday in Bismarck. The issue of Bland’s license now proceeds to an administrative hearing on July 2. A side issue in Wednesday’s court hearing was Nodland’s accusation that the board’s executive secretary and treasurer, Rolf Sletten, committed perjury in an affidavit submitted to the court. Nodland wrote to the court, “This affidavit … contains a likely perjurious statement in that (Sletten) suggests he called (Nodland)” on May 14. Nodland wrote — and also said in court on Wednesday — that he was in Rapid City on May 14 and could not have talked to Sletten. John M. Olson, the lawyer for the Commission on Medical Competency, complained to the judge that “the attack on Mr. Sletten is unwarranted.”‘ The commission does investigations for the Board of Medical Examiners. Haskell said he was not going to base his decision on the issue but cautioned Nodland that it is a serious matter to accuse another lawyer of perjury. Nodland then told the judge Sletten’s date of May 14 in the affidavit may have been a “typo” or “bookkeeping error.”

James Bland

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