A dentist who gave up his license to practice in Connecticut and Massachusetts after a woman from Ellington died after he performed extensive dental procedures on her in his Enfield office in 2014 has resumed practicing in New York state.
The dentist, Rashmi C. Patel, 52, operates a family dentistry practice in the Long Island village of Lynbrook, according to public records and the practice’s website.
Recent attempts to reach Patel for comment through calls to the practice, Family Dentistry of Lynbrook, have been unsuccessful.
Patel said in 2018 that he was retired and not practicing despite his active license to practice in New York state.
“There was an investigation by New York, and I was exonerated,” he said at that time.
New York officials provided a certificate of good standing for Patel in May 2018, saying their records showed no disciplinary action against him.
A request for records of any investigations involving Patel in New York state after the Connecticut patient’s death was denied on grounds that New York law makes such material confidential, according to a May 7, 2018 letter from Donald B. Dawson, the New York Education Department’s investigations director.
A check this month of New York’s “professional discipline summary index” showed no listing for Patel.
Judith Gan, 64, of Ellington, who had a number of medical problems, died after Patel extracted 20 of her teeth and placed several dental implants in her mouth at his Enfield office on Feb. 17, 2014.
The Connecticut State Dental Commission found in December of that year that Patel “deviated from the standard of care” in that he didn’t “timely or properly respond” to Gan’s “oxygen desaturation, respiratory distress, and cardio-pulmonary distress.”
The commission “permanently restricted” Patel from using “conscious sedation,” suspended his license until he completed an “assessment services program,” and put him on professional probation for five years, requiring that another dentist randomly review 5% of his patient records.
Enfield police charged Patel in February 2015 with criminally negligent homicide and evidence tampering in Gan’s death.
The tampering charge was based on statements by two of Patel’s employees that Gan received two doses of midazolam, a sedative, during the treatment, while records Patel submitted to the state Department of Public Health showed only one dose, according to an affidavit by Enfield Detective Michael Bailey.
Patel let his Connecticut dental license lapse on May 31, 2015. He signed an agreement in September of that year with the state health department that he wouldn’t “renew or reinstate” the license.
Hartford Superior Court prosecutors eliminated the negligent homicide charge, which would have made Patel ineligible for accelerated rehabilitation, a program in which a defendant can win dismissal of a criminal case by successfully completing a period of probation.
Judge Joan K. Alexander granted Patel admission to the program on Oct. 2, 2015. She imposed the maximum two years of probation allowed in the program and prohibited Patel from applying for a new dental license while on probation.
The following month, Patel voluntarily surrendered his license to practice dentistry in Massachusetts, according to that state’s online records.
Patel successfully completed the two years of pretrial probation and won dismissal of the criminal case on Oct. 2, 2017, records show.
In the last two years, business entities associated with Patel have received almost $100,000 in loans through the federal Paycheck Protection Program adopted by Congress in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the FederalPay.org website. It compiles information from the U.S. Small Business Administration, which runs the program.
Two of the loans were to Rashmi C. Patel, DDS, PC. That’s the name of a Connecticut professional corporation that was dissolved in 2017 according to online records of the secretary of the state’s office. But it is conceivable that Patel could use the same name for a professional corporation in another state.
In any case, the FederalPay.org records show that all four loans to Patel-related businesses have been paid in full or forgiven. Under the Paycheck Protection Program, a loan can be forgiven if employee and compensation levels are maintained, the loan money is spent on “eligible expenses,” and 60% of the money goes to “payroll costs,” according to the SBA website.
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