Baker County -- An Albany doctor is being sued for claiming he was assaulted by the authors of the Phoebe Factoids. The suit claims Dr. James Hotz lied to have criminal charges filed against the Phoebe critics and whistle blowers to shut them up.
Dr. James Hotz says he has suddenly gone from the victim of a crime, to being the target of lawyers seeking two million dollars. "This is a real distraction. I don't think it's about health care, I think it's about money."
Mississippi Private Detective James Bowman has filed a federal lawsuit against Hotz for malicious prosecution. Last August 22nd, while working for attorney Richard Scruggs, Bowman went to Dr. Hotz' home to discuss the Phoebe Factoid case involving Dr. John Bagnato and Charles Rehberg.
Hotz says Bowman lied to get into his home, and then used what he called "threatening movements" to scare his family.
The incident was never reported to police, but District Attorney Kelly Burke indicted Bowman, Bagnato, and Rehberg for aggravated assault, burglary, or simple assault, three different times.
On July 7th, the entire indictment was dismissed. Noted attorney Bobby Lee Cook represented Bowman in the criminal trial, and threatened a lawsuit after the charges were dismissed. Bowman's suit asks for one million dollars in punitive damages and another million dollars in general damages.
Hotz said "It's pretty scary when someone wants to take two million dollars from you. Which is more, quite a bit more, than my personal worth."
Hotz says this is the first time he has ever been sued, and has not hired an attorney yet, but says he will fight. "I do know they have big name lawyers. These are some of the most powerful attorneys in the country. And I'm just a country doctor."
Bowman's suit claims Dr. Hotz lied to the grand jury so that the Phoebe Factoid authors would be charged with a crime, to stop their criticism of the hospital.
We tried to contact Bowman's attorneys, Bobby Lee Cook and Converse Bright from Valdosta, but were unable to talk with them.