Originally created 03/12/06

Across the region



Pediatrician fined for sex acts with parents

ANDERSON, S.C. - A 41-year-old pediatrician has been fined for having sex with two of his patients' mothers, including two occasions in his office.

Carl Thomas Bailey was ordered to pay nearly $6,000 in fines by the State Board of Medical Examiners but can continue practicing. He admitted to having sex with the mothers on several occasions in 2002 or 2003, in addition to a nurse he worked with at a local clinic, according to the board's final order filed in December.

On two occasions he had oral sex with one patient's mother in his office. He also had inappropriate conversations with mothers and discussed his personal life with them, the board's order said.

Commission chairman drops plan for change

ATLANTA - The chairman of Georgia's Public Service Commission is backing away from proposed changes that critics said could have stifled the voice of consumers in utility rate increase cases.

Stan Wise said Friday his plans to shake up the agency will leave the so-called adversary staff alone. But he supports a plan to dissolve an advisory committee and assign each commissioner an adviser.

Shortly after becoming chairman in January, Mr. Wise raised concerns when he called for a staff review and circulated a policy paper arguing that the adversary staff had the appearance of anti-utility bias. However, an internal review released earlier this month cautioned commissioners against making major changes to the system.

County gives up on regulating strip clubs

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - Horry County leaders have dropped a decade-old attempt to increase regulation of strip clubs and other sexually-oriented businesses after deciding it would be too expensive.

The Grand Strand county has searched for a legal way to push the strip clubs and other shops from main roads, but such businesses are generally protected by the First Amendment.

Court will review sale of Mental Health land

COLUMBIA - The South Carolina Supreme Court will decide who should receive money from the sale of nearly 200 acres of Department of Mental Health land in downtown Columbia.

The Mental Health Commission and the State Budget and Control Board have asked the court to clarify whether a trust controls the 178-acre site.

Attorney General Henry McMaster said in an opinion last year that the money should "at the very least" be used to treat the mentally ill in South Carolina. He said the property represents a charitable trust.

Judge is charged in domestic dispute

AMERICUS, GA. - A Superior Court judge faces battery charges after a fight with his former girlfriend last summer.

Rucker Smith, 52, a chief judge in Southwest Georgia, was charged Wednesday with crimes including one count of battery and two counts of simple battery.

In a police report, Judge Smith's ex-girlfriend, Rachael Oliver told authorities the judge pushed her down, threw her off the porch, then later dragged her before she was able to run away.

Judge Smith, a judge since 1993, said he has banished domestic violence offenders from their home county.