Milton doctor loses license after admitting to opioid charges
By Courtney Hessler
November 12, 2019
HUNTINGTON — A Cabell County psychiatrist has lost his license after admitting in both a Lawrence County, Ohio, and federal court to drug usage and writing illicit opioid prescriptions.
According to the order signed Nov. 4 by members of the West Virginia Board of Medicine, former Dr. Marc J. Spelar, a psychiatrist of Milton, had his West Virginia medical license revoked earlier this month.
The ruling came after Spelar was arrested and charged in federal court earlier this year with 10 counts of unlawful distribution of controlled substances involving more than 800 prescriptions and over 17,000 opioid pills.
He was accused from 2016 to 2017 of distributing Schedule II narcotics — including dextroamphetamine, methylphenidate and amphetamine salt — to a patient who he had never examined and did not have a medical need for the drugs, but had a history of abusing drugs.
He later pleaded guilty to one count of that indictment.
He had also pleaded guilty to some charges after he was charged in 2017 by a Lawrence County grand jury with possession of cocaine, trafficking in drugs, two counts of possession of drugs, endangering children and possession of drug abuse instruments.
Spelar’s medical license had initially been issued in 2013, with his self-identified specialty as psychiatry. However, the license had been subject to restrictions since 2017 that prohibit him from participating in the clinical practice of medicine in the state, pending an investigation by the board after a criminal complaint was filed against him in Ironton Municipal Court in Lawrence County, Ohio.
In October 2017, Spelar pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of drugs, felonies in the fifth degree and he was sentenced to serve four years of community controlled sanctions and intensive supervised probation. He was also required to successfully complete outpatient drug counseling.
The board conducted an investigation into his prescribing of controlled substances and after reviewing 16 of his patient records it found probable cause to substantiate charges of disqualification, the order said.
In May 2019, a second investigation opened after Spelar’s federal indictment on similar charges was unsealed. The indictment involved 10 prescriptions issued by the former doctor without a legitimate medical purpose between October 2016 and April 2017.
In August 2019, he entered into a plea agreement in which he pleaded guilty to one count, admitting to the charges against him surrounding a clinic in Huntington. As part of his plea, Spelar admitted to treating a patient addicted to opiates despite never performing a physical examination or seeing them.
A formal disciplinary hearing before the board was held in October and the order revoking his license was issued last week.
According to the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office, Spelar operated Prometheus Mentis Psych PLLC on 1079 S. Main St. in Milton.
His federal sentencing is scheduled at 3 p.m. on Dec. 9.