I-Team: Doctor on trial for drug charges announces run for mayor
Claims drug charges against her are false
8:08 PM, Oct 14, 2013
8:32 AM, Oct 15, 2013
TAMPA - Tampa cosmetic surgeon Dr. Christina Paylan made news in 2011 when she was arrested for allegedly using a patient's name to obtain prescription drugs for herself and her fiancé.
Now, she's claiming the allegations against her are a fabrication by the Tampa Police Department and the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office. She also announced exclusively to ABC Action News that she plans to file to run for mayor of the City of Tampa in 2015.
Dr. Paylan is currently on trial for two felonies, accused of using fraud to obtain Demerol. In an interview with ABC Action News I-Team investigator Michael George, she claims she's innocent, and the evidence against her has been fabricated. She compared her case to the recent termination of TPD Sgt. Ray Fernandez, who was fired for allegedly making a DUI arrest for the sake of a friend, then lying about the details of the arrest.
Dr. Paylan says the allegations against her stem from a dispute with a family member, who is also a Tampa Police officer. She claims the officer, who is the brother-in-law of her fiancé, was angry that he had been cut him off financially. She claims because of the influence of the officer and the evidence he fabricated, the Tampa Police Department and the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office are conspiring against her.
"The motive was clearly money," she said.
We asked Dr. Paylan about findings made during the investigation. Tampa police investigators reported finding needle marks in her arm. They also found inconsistencies in Dr. Paylan's claims about the Demerol in her possession. She says all of those allegations are misrepresentations or outright lies.
"I categorically deny drug addiction. I categorically deny using drugs," Dr. Paylan told ABC Action News.
After her arrest, Florida's Board of Medicine temporarily suspended Dr. Paylan's license. In their investigation, multiple experts determined Dr. Paylan was abusing Demerol and was an immediate and serious danger to her patients.
They also said, in an administrative complaint, that she tested positive for Demerol and refused to attend treatment programs. However, the board later determined there was "insufficient evidence" for any allegations against her and restored her license. Dr. Paylan claims that finding proves the accusations were wrong.
"Why should the viewers believe that all the people who made these claims are wrong?" asked I-Team investigator Michael George.
"They were duped by a cop who happened to be a family member," she said.
She claims that the witnesses against her have criminal pasts themselves or have recanted. Dr. Paylan is now representing herself in her criminal trial. But she's not stopping there. She claims the only way to cure what she sees as corruption is to go to City Hall.
"This is one of the main reasons why I'm announcing my candidacy for Mayor of the City of Tampa," Dr. Paylan said.
Dr. Paylan told ABC Action News she expects to beat the criminal charges. She also said she believes she can with a mayoral race, despite being on trial for two felonies.
The Tampa Police Department and the State Attorney's Office told ABC Action News they can't comment on her allegations due to the ongoing criminal trial.