For Rent: Accused Councilman's Doctor's Office
Dr. Vincent Esposito's license to practice medicine has been temporarily suspended, his attorney said.
The Main Street building used for the medical practice of Borough Councilman Dr. Vincent Esposito, who is facing charges of allegedly writing painkiller prescriptions for people he never examined, is for rent, according to a sign in front of the building.
The owner of the building at 322 Main St. acknowledged the office space is for rent, but declined to comment further.
Esposito's attorney, Peter Gilbreth, said Esposito's license to practice medicine has been temporarily suspended by the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners. He said he had no comment on what is happening with Esposito's practice.
Gilbreth said he would be meeting soon with the Attorney General's Office to go over their respective investigations of the case. No date for a meeting has been set, he said.
Esposito, who is still serving as borough councilman, did not return messages for comment on Wednesday. The Madison Board of Education has replaced Esposito as district physician.
At the start of the Feb. 27 Borough Council meeting, Esposito made a brief statement, saying he would fight the charges and thanked his supporters. He said it would be his only statement on the matter.
"My life has been turned upside down in one fell swoop," he said. "I have been falsely accused and I am not guilty of any of these unjustified allegations. I will fight for my family name and my honor. I am humbled by the support of so many friends, patients, this adminsitration, the mayor and my fellow council people. It has been very helpful for me and my family. I will not give up."
Borough attorney Joseph Mezzacca said the charge is only an accusation and there's no reason Esposito can't continue to function as a borough council member.
Esposito was arrested Feb. 16 after special agents of the DEA and detectives of the Division of Criminal Justice executed a search warrant at the Main Street office. Esposito was charged with distribution of a controlled dangerous substance and conspiracy, both in the second degree. Second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000, authorities said in a news release.
A letter dated Feb. 21 remains taped to the door of the office, saying the "office will be closed temporarily due to a recent emergency. We anticipate returning to normal office hours shortly. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you. Thank you for your patience and support."
Last March, members of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration began investigating allegations that Esposito was selling prescriptions for oxycodone to people he never examined, and the Division of Criminal Justice joined in the investigation, according to the arrest affidavit.
From June to December, confidential informants obtained oxycodone prescriptions from Esposito about six times without receiving exams, with each visit recorded by video and audio surveillance, the affidavit says.
Between September and December, undercover DEA agents who were introduced to Esposito by the informants allegedly requested and received oxycodone prescriptions without being examined, and those visits also were recorded, according to the affidavit.
On Feb. 16, authorities obtained an audio and video statement of Esposito in which he allegedly admitted prescribing oxycodone to people without performing examinations in exchange for payments, typically $90, according to the affidavit.