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Former Woodstock Officer Pleads Guilty to 'Doctor Shopping'

Former Sgt. Kevin Smith did not inform one doctor he'd already had a prescription for hydrocodone when he asked to get another one.

Keith Patrick Smith, 45, of Woodstock, plead guilty on Dec. 4 to one count of withholding information from a practitioner and one count of violation of oath by a public officer. He will serve seven years on probation. Credit: Cherokee Sheriff's Offic
Keith Patrick Smith, 45, of Woodstock, plead guilty on Dec. 4 to one count of withholding information from a practitioner and one count of violation of oath by a public officer. He will serve seven years on probation. Credit: Cherokee Sheriff's Offic
A former sergeant with the Woodstock Police Department recently plead guilty to what's known as doctor shopping.

Keith Patrick Smith, 45, of Woodstock, pleaded guilty on Dec. 4 to one count of withholding information from a practitioner and one count of violation of oath by a public officer. 

In a negotiated plea, Smith was sentenced to seven years probation, pay $1,000 court fine, must perform 100 hours of community service and receive treatment for substance abuse.

On July 28, Smith visited Dr. Sherri Barton at WellStar Urgent Care on Stone Bridge Parkway in Woodstock to get a prescription of hydrocodone acetaminophen.

However, Smith "intentionally" did not inform Dr. Barton that he'd previously received a 30-day, 120-count hydrocodone prescription from Dr. Michael Schaufele on July 13, 2012, according to a warrant. 

Dr. Barton is an urgent care physician while Dr. Schaufele specializes in pain and sports medicine. Both work with WellStar Health System. 

Shannon Wallace, district attorney for the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit, said her office was notified around October 2012 of the Woodstock Police Department's internal investigation into Smith's use of controlled substances.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation launched a criminal investigation soon after, which uncovered that Smith "had a legitimate medical condition that called for the use of a controlled substance as a treatment," Wallace added.  

"However, Mr. Smith was obtaining the controlled substances from numerous physicians at the same time without informing these physicians that he had received a prescription for a drug of similar therapeutic value from another physician," she stated. 

"Doctor shopping" refers to patients who obtain controlled substances from different doctors without providers knowing about previous prescriptions, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Smith had been employed with the Woodstock Police Department between July 2007 and November 2012.

Along with his probation, Smith will be required to surrender his certification from the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, and will no longer be able to work as a law enforcement officer or any type of security guard.

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