Charges dropped against doctor

A 30-count indictment alleging a Tiffin doctor prescribed medication without proper licensing has been dismissed by Seneca County Prosecutor Derek DeVine.

According to a release from DeVine’s office, the indictment filed last year against Samuel J. Christian, 56, was dismissed Thursday to allow additional time for the State Pharmacy Board to work with the prosecutor’s office on retaining a new physician to review medication records and to serve as an expert witness in the case.

The expert witness who had been retained for the case recently was diagnosed with liver cancer and will be unable to testify. DeVine said the trial had been scheduled to begin March 4.

“I met recently with our expert witness about testifying. While he wanted to continue to help, it was apparent that he would be unable to testify in this case due to his medical condition. Our prayers go out to the doctor and his family as they deal with these tragic events,” DeVine said in the release.

Christian had been indicted on 24 counts of aggravated trafficking on drugs, five counts of trafficking in drugs and one count of methadone treatment license violation. The indictment alleged he operated a drug addiction program that prescribed methadone to patients without being licensed.

The allegations occurred from December of 2009 until May 2011 and involved the controlled substances methadone, Xanax, Methylin and alprazolam, according to DeVine.

“Law enforcement and the prosecutor have to play the hand they are dealt. This matter is not concluded,” Seneca County Drug Task Force – METRICH Enforcement Unit Coordinator Chuck Boyer said in the release.

DeVine said Christian, who had posted bond, had his ankle monitor removed following the dismissal of the indictment.

DeVine said it may take months for the new expert witness to go through the medical records.