St. Petersburg Times (Florida)
Official restricts license of St. Petersburg psychiatrist
By CAROL GENTRY
April 21, 1990
A state official has taken the unusual step of restricting the license of a St. Petersburg psychiatrist without waiting for the Board of Medicine to act.
Dr. Randall E. Pitone, who practices at 1201 Fifth Ave. N, is accused of sexual misconduct and violations of drug laws. He will be allowed to continue practicing pending action by the board, but only under certain conditions.
The emergency restriction order was signed by Larry Gonzalez, secretary of the Department of Professional Regulation (DPR). The agency investigates and prosecutes cases that come before the Board of Medicine.
Gonzalez has the power to take action against a professional’s license without waiting for a board to act if he believes the public may be at risk.
Signed April 11, Gonzalez’s order was obtained late Friday. Pitone could not be reached for comment.
The order says that during the past two years, Pitone lived with one of his women patients in a sexual relationship. Meanwhile, the order says, he provided her with grossly excessive quantities of addictive drugs including the painkillers Percodan and Darvocet and the tranquilizers Valium and Xanax.
According to Gonzalez’s order:
On Oct. 30, 1988, the woman was taken to St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg for a suspected drug overdose. She said Pitone was treating her for depression.
A year later, she was found staggering around at 22nd Avenue N and Fourth St. She told paramedics she lived with Pitone at an address nearby. Pitone confirmed that she lived with him.
After several other run-ins with police, the woman apparently attempted suicide on Pitone’s front porch in February after being released from Horizon Hospital, where she had been treated for drug dependence.
Gonzalez’s order does not say what happened to the patient.
Under the restrictions, Pitone will be able to practice under the supervision of another doctor, who will review Pitone’s patient records and prescriptions once a month. Until Pitone’s monitor is approved by Gonzalez, the doctor can prescribe addictive medicines only in the hospital.