Mrs. Zalud’s Statement to the TSBDE
April 2010 Meeting

For the record, I am Lucille Zalud and I appeared before this board several years ago. I filed a complaint with the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners against a multiple offender. My complaint took over 4 and one half years to resolve with nothing but a $15,000 fine, record keeping violations and suspended probation. A board member was being paid by malpractice law firm to review my case and others while he was an active member of the board.

I would like to know if any State Board member can give a convincing reason or an example why a State Board member should be allowed to serve as an expert witness. I have been mistreated by unethical behavior and untruths. This could happen again and be covered up. Texas needs strong ethical members on its Dental Board. I urge this Board to
remove any appearance of a conflict of interest by prohibiting all Board members from acting as expert witnesses.

I have recently learned that while this investigation was going on by the board. Your past president and Executive director met with several of the presidents and past presidents of organized dentistry at the Greater Houston Dental Association meeting in Houston. He made statements that my case was the only case like this and that the news media was using yellow journalism to make a “mountain out of a mole hill.” He said it was only one case and that this lady was unhappy because she lost in court. This was factually incorrect. There were many more egregious cases for this repeat offender.

It appears that this past president was trying to "spin" the leaders of organized dentistry’s viewpoints to prevent them from writing letters to the Dental Board and their Legislators. I think he crossed the line of ethical behavior.

Also, the Board sent me a letter on state letterhead. This letter told me I could be criminally prosecuted if I furthered negative press on this subject. This seems like a double standard and a scare tactic. Why would the board threaten me with criminal prosecution and chose to discuss the same matter in a public forum while an investigation was going on? It appears the past president was doing exactly what I was being threatened for. I was telling the truth not "spinning" untruths. I had to wait an additional year before I was finally told the Board had closed the case and given the dentist record-keeping violations with suspended probation.

It now appears, that two past presidents knew all along what the Board's findings would be with respect to my complaint and other similar complaints. The Board forced myself and others to wait for news of how our complaints had been resolved while this past president assured selected leaders of organized dentistry that news reports of my issues involved only one disgruntled woman who had lost at civil trial.

The leaders who appear to have the same agenda as the past two presidents seem adamant on not changing the rule allowing State Board members to act as experts in civil trials. Mr. President, you also have agreed with these past presidents and voted to not change one word from “should not” to “shall not”. This insistence on the status quo makes me even more suspicious of the behavior of two past Presidents and the current President.

I think this board should make a public apology for it’s past presidents behavior and immediately change the rule. And if the current president new of this private meeting in Houston while he was a Board official the board members should ask for his resignation.