Report: Savannah Doctor Indicted For Trading Drugs For Sex - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Savannah Doctor Indicted On Drug Charges


A Savannah doctor who is a former medical director at Memorial Health has been indicted on charges of trading sex for prescriptions of additive drugs.

57 year old William Ellien faces felony drug charges for the unlawful distribution of prescription drugs, including percocet and hydrocodone. The indictment claims that Ellien exchanged prescriptions for very addictive prescription drugs with various women from 2009 through 2012.     

Up until September, Dr. Ellien was the medical director of Behavior Health Services at Memorial Health.  But a Memorial spokesman told us that Ellien was a private physician and that he had not been associated with Memorial since September.

Savannah attorney Mark Tate however thinks Memorial should be held accountable.  He has filed a lawsuit on behalf of two of the women allegedly involved with Ellien.  He says in one case, Ellien basically recruited a young woman who worked at a strip club, offering to counsel her about anxiety.  But instead Tate says, Ellien ended up engaging in sex for drugs.

While Tate has filed suit on behalf of two women, he claims there are at least four more involved, two from Savannah and two others from Mississippi where Ellien formerly lived.  Tate alleges the Mississippi women were brought to Savannah over the course of several years where drugs and prescriptions were exchanged for sex.  Tate says in one case one woman involved was getting prescriptions for up to 500 Xanax pills per month.  

He says Ellien had women visit him at the Clark Center on the Memorial Health campus, which Tate says is "in patient" only.  Tate's suit alleges that Ellien use Memorial stationery and other items and that his contact information was at Memorial.  "When pharmacists had questions about all these prescriptions, they called Ellien at Memorial," Tate said.

"Memorial Medical Center empowered this doctor and gave him the ability to write these prescriptions and the authority to claim he could cure problems including addiction and anxiety. And instead of doing that, he went out like a predator and found these girls, brought them in and wrote them prescriptions that made them worse," Tate said. "Memorial Medical Center we have alleged - had the duty and had the ability to supervise him and make sure he did not abuse his power the way that he did."

Tate says in the case of two women, Ellien also leased cars.  He says in the case of several women, Ellien even used Memorial stationery to write the work excuses and to excuse absences from school for their children.

A Memorial spokesman said he could not discuss legal matters.          



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