By FRANK LEWIS
PDT Staff Writer
Dr. Brenda Banks, 58, of Columbus is expected to become the third defendant in the Sadler pain clinic trial to change her plea. A federal court filing Tuesday said Banks will change her not guilty plea on Monday (April 30). Two others, James Sadler, 81, of West Portsmouth and Lisa Clevenger, 49 of Stoutsville, Ohio, had both previously changed their pleas to guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
Banks was named a defendant in a 2010 indictment that charged employees at a pain clinic in Waverly filled cash-only prescriptions. The indictment alleged clinic operators and employees used Banks’ federal prescription-writing certificate to order more than 200,000 doses of opiates.
Nancy Sadler, 48, owner of the clinic and her husband, Lester “Ape” Sadler, 56, both of West Portsmouth; and Sandy Wells, 53, of South Shore, Ky., are now scheduled to go on trial at 10 a.m. Tuesday (May 1) in the courtroom of Judge Sandra Beckwith in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati.
A source close to the case said Columbus attorney Steve Hillman, who has represented several of the former pain clinics in Scioto County, including those owned by Tracy Bias, filed to be listed as co-counsel for Nancy Sadler, but was denied that status by the court. At the request of the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southern District of Ohio, U.S. Magistrate Judge Candace Smith ordered Bias held without bond pending trial.
“While the defendant has produced sufficient information to rebut risk of nonappearance, he has not rebutted danger to the community, and the court is persuaded by the U.S.’s proffer that his release would present an unacceptable danger. The government’s proffer as to the nature and circumstances of the charged offenses — namely operation of pain clinics dispensing schedule II and III controlled substances — along with information that the defendant since the shutdown of those clinics, has traveled out of state directly or by sponsorship of third parties, to continue obtaining controlled substances, presents to great a risk to the community to consider the defendant’s release,” Smith said in her ruling.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.