June 10, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
The public, at least for the time being, will not know what a former pain clinic owner pled to in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati. Tracy Bias, 48, of West Portsmouth, was in Judge Michael Barrett’s court on Friday for a change of plea hearing. The results of that hearing have apparently been sealed.
On Monday, co-defendant, Dublin, Ohio attorney Steven Hillman said he was in the courtroom at the start of the hearing.
“They made me leave and they made the Associated Press reporter leave,” Hillman said.
Late in the afternoon, according to the U.S. District Court Clerk of Court’s office, Bias was still in court. However, after the hearing, Barrett sealed the hearing at a defense attorney’s request without explanation and ordered the AP reporter from the courtroom.
At one time, Bias operated two pain clinics, Southern Ohio Complete Pain Management and Portsmouth Medical Solutions in Portsmouth and Trinity Medical Care in Columbus.
The federal indictments said Bias and six doctors, conspired to write prescriptions for powerful pain medications outside the scope of legitimate medical practice, and that their conspiracy resulted in the death of at least one customer.
Another of the defendants in the same case, James Lassiter, 59, one of six doctors accused in federal indictments last year is also scheduled for a change of plea hearing on June 14. Lassiter, along with Bias, Marcellus Gilreath, and Dublin attorney Steven Hillman, are all named in the indictment, Hillman for money laundering.
In February, Hillman appeared before Magistrate Judge Stephanie K. Bowman, in United States Southern District of Ohio Court and was arraigned on eight counts. In the case titled U.S. vs. Bias et al, Hillman is charged with money laundering of at least $6,750,000.
Hillman said Monday he is still scheduled to go on trial on June 24, the same date Bias had been scheduled to go on trial.
“If everyone tells the truth, I’ll walk,” Hillman told the Daily Times. “I haven’t done anything.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at email@example.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.