The Bismarck Tribune

August 10, 1996 Saturday

LENGTH: 571 words

MINOT (AP) — A psychiatrist accused of possessing explosives and harassing people said he is resigned to losing his state medical license. “”I don’t have any hope at all,” Dr. James Bland said. Bland said he is the subject of a smear campaign and is being harassed by “”political enemies.” Bland’s medical license has been temporarily suspended while an administrative hearing officer took testimony on revoking his license.
Allen Hoberg is to recommend whether the state Board of Medical Examiners should take any more disciplinary action against him. Bland has refused to testify and hasn’t sat in on hearings. But he spoke to the Minot Daily News Thursday about the accusations against him. “”Since I am not interested in playing this political game any further, I would like to have my side of the story told,” he said. The state medical board is unjustly trying to strip him of his reputation as well as his license, Bland said. The Commission on Medical Competency has charged Bland with possessing explosives and poisons, which Bland said are sinister terms for chemicals that have many legitimate uses other than bombs or poisonings. “”I wanted to do experiments with rodents and for industrial purposes,” he said. He listed dyes, cleaning solvents and routine laboratory experiments among those industrial purposes. He thought he might be able to develop products and sell them. Bland said he had stored the chemicals for 18 months but was too busy to use them. Books on revenge, stealing cars and related topics found in his storage were part of his interest in private-eye work and locksmithing, he said. Bland also denied writing anonymous letters with threats or offensive themes. Three people who used to work with Bland testified at the hearing of receiving anonymous letters that they suspect came from him. “”If I have a letter to write, I go ahead and sign it,” he said. “”I would dare anyone to bring me letters that I have written that are offensive.”Bland said he has received harassing phone calls and letters over the past five years. Police reported Bland filed harassment complaints in March of 1994 and October and December of 1995. Bland suspects the harassment was coming from his political enemies, which he described as co-workers at a Minot clinic and hospital. Bland said Rolf Sletten, the medical commission’s secretary, was “”out to smear me.” “”That’s absurd,” Sletten said. “”It’s certainly my job to be reasonably aggressive when we are prosecuting physicians. … When the circumstances warrant prosecution, we need to act decisively.” Bland also denied that he assaulted a witness during the hearing in Bismarck on Wednesday. Nurse Georgia Krein testified that Bland pushed her and knocked her against the wall while passing her in a hallway. As for not testifying at the hearing, Bland said his attorney Chad Nodland advised him against it to protect himself from possible criminal charges. “”Anything you say,” Bland quoted his attorney as saying, “”the FBI is sitting right back there. They are going to take that and twist it.” Bland can appeal a license revocation to district court and eventually the state Supreme Court, but he said he wouldn’t win because of the political atmosphere. “”I don’t know what I am going to do,” he said of his future. “”I have some hard decisions to make. … The main thing I regret about this is all the patients who are left out there.”