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Stanford Doctor Free to Practice

Abuse, Embezzlement charges dropped; status of old job in unclear
By Elise Banducci ?Mercury News

Stanford physician Cheryl Walker, cleared of charges she abused her elderly grandmother and embezzled from her estate, is once again free to practice medicine in California.

However, officials at Stanford Medical Center, which put the world-renowned reproductive science expert on unpaid leave after charges surfaced, did not return calls for comment on whether she would also be reinstated in her job.
The Medical Board of California suspended Walker’s license in May 2002, several months after she and her mother, Janice Walker, were indicted in what prosecutors said was a scheme to loot the estate of family matriarch Mary Lee Koleber, 95, and hasten her death with a “lethal cocktail?of drugs.

Prosecutors dropped charges against Cheryl Walker and cut a deal with her mother last month after a key witness against the pair admitted forging documents, shattering his credibility.

The medical board had 30 days after the charges were dropped –which was Thursday ?to file papers to keep the suspension in place, said David Carr, deputy attorney general representing the medical board. Though the suspension expired, the board has up to three years after the arrest to investigate and take further action.

Friday, Walker paid the renewal fee for her medical license, which expired during the suspension, her attorney Mike Khouri said. Khouri said he did not know the status of his client’s discussions with Stanford.

“I would hope that since the criminal charges have been dismissed, and since her license has been reinstated, that Stanford would do the right thing and reinstate her to her position,?he said. Khouri also said Walker was weighing various academic and clinical opportunities elsewhere.

In her statement last week to the judge, before hoer mother was sentenced, Cheryl Walker said that her career had suffered irreparable harm and that she would have to move to start over.

Her mother, a 74-year-old retired nurse, pleaded no contest earlier this month to elder abuse and embezzlement and received a two-year sentence. She is expected to be releases on parole after no more than eight months in a minimum security prison. Walker, 45, has two young children.

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