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Beamer agrees to diversion

For charges from August 2012


by: HOLLY M. GILL - Dr. Leland 'Bud' Beamer gets congratulations after the case against him was diverted in the Jefferson County Circuit Court Tuesday.Surrounded by a courtroom full of family, friends and supporters on Tuesday, Dr. Leland "Bud" Beamer agreed to a six-month diversion program for the misdemeanor charges he faced.

Beamer had been charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance and third-degree theft for taking a vial of the drug ketamine home from the former Mountain View Hospital.

At the time, August 2012, Beamer was working as an emergency room doctor, and had just come off a 24-hour shift. Out of concern for his seriously ill dog, Beamer took the medication home in case the dog needed assistance over the weekend.

Beamer never used the medication, and on Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, he returned the medication to the hospital, but by then, the hospital administrator had learned of the incident, and placed him on administrative leave.

Later, he was dismissed from the emergency room position, and six months after the incident, was hired by the Oregon Department of Corrections as the clinic physician in Pendleton at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution, where he continues to work.

The Oregon Board of Medical Examiners reviewed the case and in July, decided to take no action against him.

In August, after reviewing the Oregon State Police's investigation, District Attorney Steve Leriche decided to file the unlawful possession and theft charges.

"Charging crimes can be very difficult, especially when considering someone like Dr. Beamer," Leriche wrote in a statement just before the court appearance. "Contrary to the stated opinion of some people, I truly like Dr. Beamer."

Despite his personal view of Beamer, he added, "I simply must uphold the law and the oath I have taken, even if the prosecution is unpopular."

Circuit Court Judge Gary Williams set March 10, 2014, as the status hearing, but District Atttorney Steve Leriche indicated that Beamer probably would not need to appear in court.

"I anticipate that day will be only a day of filing a dismissal," said Leriche, who negotiated the diversion with Beamer's attorney Dave Glenn.

After the 180-day diversion period, Glenn said that both charges will be dismissed. Under terms of the negotiated diversion, Beamer did not enter a plea to the charges.

Williams said that if Beamer complies with all the terms of the diversion, which include paying "$5 and some change to the hospital," and the $150 diversion fee to the District Attorney's Office, "the charges will be dismissed and there never will be a conviction."

Following the proceedings, most of the 65 or so people attending the hearing waited for Beamer to emerge from the courtroom to congratulate him on the outcome.

Beamer said that he appreciated Leriche's reconsideration of the charges.

"It's been a tough year for the family," he said, adding that he appreciated the community's support for himself and his family. "It's nice to have some closure."




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