A doctor who gave up his medical licence in the United States
while under scrutiny for alleged professional misconduct is
now working in Hamilton.
Herald inquiries have revealed Dr Paul Fox is working for the
Waikato District Health Board as a psychiatrist.
However, the health board yesterday was unable to say what
checks were carried out on his background, or if he disclosed
the accusations previously made against him.
Last night, Dr John Adams, spokesman for the Medical Council,
said checks were being made to ensure that all the
information Dr Fox provided to it when he applied for
registration was correct.
Dr Fox treated Adam Lanza, the young gunman later responsible
for the Sandy Hook school massacre in Connecticut in December
He noted the then teenager had aggression problems and was
resistant to change.
But he had not seen Lanza for some time when the 20-year-old
killed 20 pupils and six other people at the elementary
Authorities in the US have not raised concerns about his
treatment of Lanza, but there were allegations of misconduct
and "possible boundary violations" over an alleged
relationship he had with a patient.
US media have reported a former patient's claims she and Dr
Fox had sex in his office, went out for dinner and spent time
on his boat.
The investigation report said his interactions with the
woman, "exceeded the boundaries of a professional
Dr Fox signed an affidavit in 2012 voluntarily surrendering
his licence to practise psychiatry in the US.
In doing so, he admitted "no guilt or wrongdoing", but agreed
that if he applied to practise again, the allegations made
against him would not be contested in front of the
Connecticut medical authorities.
He said the purpose of the agreement was to "resolve" the
matters against his licence, according to the affidavit
witnessed by a justice of the peace in Hamilton.
By the time of the Sandy Hook massacre Dr Fox had given up
his US licence and was living in New Zealand.
Dr Rees Tapsell, the Waikato DHB clinical director of mental
health and addictions, confirmed that Dr Fox was employed as
"[He] is fully registered and fully credentialled to practise
in New Zealand. He has vocational registration with the
Medical Council of New Zealand [and] is a competent
psychiatrist and a good addition to the mental health team at
But specific questions about what the hospital knew about his
past could not be answered because staff with that
information were unable to be contacted, a spokeswoman said.
Dr Fox is allowed to practise medicine at the DHB under the
supervision of a senior doctor until November, which is
normal procedure to meet Medical Council requirements.
Heath Minister Tony Ryall said through a spokesman that he
would not be able to comment on the case as he had no direct
role in the hiring of health professionals.
After the Sandy Hook shootings, investigators interviewed Dr
Fox by telephone about what he could remember about Lanza,
and their report was published this week.