Rush Limbaugh was arrested today and charged with one count of prescription fraud (correction: Rush will not be charged if he meets requirements listed in press release below):
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Rush Limbaugh was arrested Friday on prescription drug charges, law enforcement officials said.
Limbaugh turned himself in to authorities on a warrant issued by the State Attorney’s Office, said Teri Barbera, a spokeswoman for the State Attorney’s Office.
The conservative radio commentator came into the jail at about 4 p.m. with his attorney Roy Black and bonded out an hour later on a $3,000 bail, Barbera said.
The warrant was for fraud to conceal information to obtain prescription, Barbera said.
Black said his client and authorities reached a settlement on a single count charge of doctor shopping filed Friday by the State Attorney will be dismissed in 18 months.
Prosecutors seized Limbaugh’s records after learning that he received about 2,000 painkillers, prescribed by four doctors in six months, at a pharmacy near his Palm Beach mansion. They contend that Limbaugh engaged in “doctor shopping,” or illegally deceived multiple doctors to receive overlapping prescriptions.
Limbaugh has not been charged and maintains he’s innocent. He has acknowledged he became addicted to pain medication, blaming it on severe back pain, and took a five-week leave from his radio show to enter a rehabilitation program in 2003.
I’ll post more information as I get it.
Drudge has the above picture on his site which may be Rush’s mug shot. If so, then he took a page from the Tom DeLay playbook and smiled so as to keep the liberals from gleefully plastering it all over their websites, t-shirts, coffee mugs etc. Drudge has Attorney Black’s statement:
“I am pleased to announce that the State Attorney’s Office and Mr. Limbaugh have reached an agreement whereby a single count charge of doctor shopping filed today by the State Attorney will be dismissed in 18 months. As a primary condition of the dismissal, Mr. Limbaugh must continue to seek treatment from the doctor he has seen for the past two and one half years. This is the same doctor under whose care Mr. Limbaugh has remained free of his addiction without relapse.
“Mr. Limbaugh and I have maintained from the start that there was no doctor shopping, and we continue to hold this position. Accordingly, we filed today with the Court a plea of ‘Not Guilty’ to the charge filed by the State.
“As part of this agreement, Mr. Limbaugh also has agreed to make a $30,000 payment to the State of Florida to defray the public cost of the investigation. The agreement also provides that he must refrain from violating the law during this 18 months, must pay $30 per month for the cost of “supervision” and comply with other similar provisions of the agreement.
“Mr. Limbaugh had intended to remain in treatment. Thus, we believe the outcome for him personally will be much as if he had fought the charge and won.”
The actions taken today are as follows:
The State Attorney has filed a single charge of doctor shopping with the Court. The charge is being held in abeyance under the terms of an agreement between the State and Mr. Limbaugh.
Mr. Limbaugh has filed a plea of “Not Guilty” with the Court.
The formal agreement between Mr. Limbaugh and the State Attorney will be filed with the Court on Monday. The terms of the agreement are substantively as follows:
Ø Mr. Limbaugh will continue in treatment with the doctor he has seen for the past two and one half years.
Ø After Mr. Limbaugh completes an additional 18 months of treatment, the State Attorney has agreed to drop the charge.
Ø Mr. Limbaugh has agreed to make a $30,000 payment to the State of Florida to defray the public cost of the investigation.
The prosecutor should pay the $30,000 fine since he’s the one who initiated this witch hunt.
Rush addressed the settlement on his website; however, there isn’t a link attached to it right now.
Update II: Rush’s link is now live.
Update III: About Rush’s arrest (it technically wasn’t an arrest since Rush turned himself in), Lucianne says “He’ll be fine. It sounds worse than it is.”