(NaturalNews) A ranking Food and Drug Administration official is facing four counts of soliciting prostitution and a single count of disorderly conduct stemming from his arrest by Howard County, Md., Police last month.
Dr. William Maisel, the deputy director for the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, was nabbed July 13 during an undercover sting operation along a busy corridor in Laurel, reports said. Maisel was one of ten suspected arrested in the operation.
In a statement, the agency declined to speculate or comment, saying only, "This is a personal matter and unrelated to the work of the FDA or Dr. Maisel's work at the agency," according to spokeswoman Erica Jefferson. "Dr. Maisel is still employed by the agency and is working."
Maisel, who joined the FDA in 2010, is scheduled for a preliminary court hearing Sept. 20.
A smart guy - Just a bad choice
Prior to the FDA, Maisel, 46, held prominent positions at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and taught at Harvard Medical School, said reports. According to the website Vitals.com, which profiles physicians, Maisel is a Board-certified cardiologist who attended Cornell Medical College.
A separate website belonging to the Medical Device Manufacturer's Association listed additional biographical information:
William H. Maisel, MD, MPH is Chief Scientist and Deputy Center Director for Science at FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH). He is responsible for providing leadership in the development, implementation, execution, management and direction of the Center's broad national and international biomedical science programs.
He is also a former chair of the FDA Circulatory System and Post-Market Medical Device Advisory Committees, and is a former member of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services Coverage Advisory Committee. Beside his medical degree, he also has a an undergraduate degree in biology from MIT, and a master's in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.
"Maisel joined the agency as its first deputy director for science in 2010, but his interactions with the agency date back to 2003 when he advised the Center for Devices and Radiological Health as a consultant," said a report in MedCity News.
Extensive history and experience
Among Maisel's cardiology specialties is arrhythmia - irregular, improper heart rhythms that can cause circulatory problems and even death. Reports suggest Maisel applied his cardiology specialties to the medical devices industry.
In 2005, for example, he conducted a study for the FDA that found 20 out of every 1,000 implanted heart defibrillators were malfunctioning, failures which led to some 31 deaths between 1990 and 2002, USA Today reported.
The study found there were 2.25 million pacemakers and almost 416,000 implanted cardiac defibrillators, or ICDs, implanted in the United States, the paper said. Of those, 17,000 of them - 8,834 pacemakers and 8,489 ICDs - had to be removed because of malfunctions.
In an editorial this year, he touted the agency's role in approving new medical devices.
"Each year, millions of American patients benefit from innovative medical devices that reduce suffering, treat previously untreatable conditions, extend lives, and improve public health. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is committed to assuring that patients have timely access to important new technologies and next-generation medical devices without compromising safety," he wrote.
It wasn't clear whether the FDA would retain Maisel at publication time, nor if he planned to plead guilty in court.