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A judge has refused to lift a 30-day contempt-of-court sentence imposed last month on a Kansas radiologist for repeatedly interrupting the judge during an initial hearing in a $7 million fraud and bribery case.

The radiologist, Heidi Lynn Webster, MD, of Manhattan, was among three people indicted last month on charges of rigging $7 million in federal contracts for radiology equipment, facilities, services, and staff, as we reported two weeks ago. Dr. Webster, who was a U.S. Army officer from 1995 until 2006, is accused of conspiring to abuse federal rules that give preferences to businesses run by members of socially and economically disadvantaged groups.

Prosecutors say the defendants schemed to route contracts through a “disadvantaged” business to disguise the fact that companies run by Dr. Webster were actually doing the work and getting most of the money.

At the initial hearing in Topeka, Kansas, according to U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson’s contempt order, Dr. Webster repeatedly “spoke loudly” and interrupted the judge. Robinson said Dr. Webster’s outbursts obstructed the administration of justice and prevented the court from advising Dr. Webster of the charges or her rights.

The judge rejected a defense request that she reconsider the contempt ruling, the Associated Press reported. Dr. Webster’s attorney, Louis Caskey of Blue Springs, Missouri (a Kansas City suburb), said in his unsuccessful motion:

Defendant is remorseful and wishes to make an apology to the court for her conduct.

According to the AP, the 30-day contempt sentence will be added to any sentence Dr. Webster receives if she is convicted in the fraud case, which originated in Texas. Her co-defendants are retired Army Master Sergeant Peter Fenti of New Braunfels, Texas, and San Antonio businessman John Walter Hoffman.

Dr. Webster’s former attorney, Dan Guthrie Jr. of Dallas, did not attend the Kansas hearing but commented, “You don’t step on Superman’s cape.” In other words, don’t annoy people who hold power over you.

Less flippantly, Guthrie said, “Dr. Webster has adamantly denied her guilt on the charges contained in the indictment. Beyond that, I can’t comment because I don’t currently represent her.”

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One Response to “Radiologist Gets 30-Day Contempt Sentence”

  1. Radiology Daily»AlertArchive » Radiologist Will Plead Guilty To Bid Rigging on January 8th, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    […] we reported back in August, Dr. Webster may also have to serve 30 additional days in prison for contempt of court. U.S. […]