While alleged leaks involving the identity of CIA personnel have dominated much of Rush Limbaugh’s radio show in recent weeks, the lawyer for the conservative talk-show host wants Florida prosecutors held accountable for allegedly leaking information concerning Limbaugh’s medical records to the news media.
A motion filed by attorney Roy Black is asking that the state attorney’s office in Palm Beach County be held in contempt, and also looks to pinpoint the source of the alleged leak and return the records “to ensure that the state does not leak them to the press again.”
Limbaugh has been engaged in a long battle with State Attorney Barry Krischer, a Democrat, over an investigation related to the host’s use of painkillers.
Limbaugh admitted on the air in 2003 he had become addicted to prescription drugs he was taking for severe back pain, and he subsequently took himself off the air while he underwent rehabilitation.
Prosecutors are trying to determine if Limbaugh went “doctor shopping,” that is to say, illegally going to several physicians in order to receive duplicate prescriptions. Limbaugh hasn’t been charged with any crime.
According to Black’s complaint [pdf. document], the state attorney’s office illegally leaked information to the South Florida-based Daily Business Review.
In a Sept. 28 article, the paper reported Krischer asked the judge in the case “for an order permitting him to subpoena Limbaugh’s personal physician, Dr. John Murray, and Murray’s employees for testimony in connection with Limbaugh’s alleged illegal purchases.”
The report went on to state:
A source close to the investigation said prosecutors are looking for a signed statement from Limbaugh to Dr. Murray promising that if the doctor prescribed painkillers for him, including Oxycontin, in quantities sufficient to control his pain, Limbaugh would not try to obtain more prescription pills from other doctors. Prosecutors say Limbaugh obtained medication from other doctors as well.
Many doctors insist on this type of signed letter from patients before prescribing powerful, addictive drugs such as OxyContin. That drug is sometimes called hillbilly heroin because of its power and prevalence in rural white communities around the country.
If prosecutors could obtain testimony from Murray or a signed letter from Limbaugh that the talk show host would use the drugs only for pain relief and would obtain it only from Murray, that could serve as evidence that any drugs he obtained elsewhere were for other purposes.
“The leak was intentional and premeditated,” Black said in his motion, adding there was no “innocent explanation.”
Black also claims “sources close to the investigation” have been leaking information to the press from the onset of the investigation, to outlets including the Palm Beach Post, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press and National Enquirer.
“The recent leak to the Daily Business Review shows that the state [continues] to hide behind the ‘source-close-to-the-investigation’ cover to leak false information to media in an effort to destroy Mr. Limbaugh’s reputation and turn public opinion against him,” the motion states.
“We will address this in court,” state attorney spokesman Mike Edmondson told the DBR.
On Limbaugh’s website, the radio host keeps a running log of coverage about the case.
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