Manitowoc doctor pleads not guilty to over-prescribing drugs

Dr. Charles Szyman leaves federal court in Green Bay June 29, 2016. (WLUK image)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- A Manitowoc doctor with a suspended license pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning to 19 federal counts of unlawfully prescribing prescription pain killers.

Charles Szyman was indicted last week. Before and after court, Szyman told FOX 11's Andrew LaCombe he had "no comment."

MORE | Click here to read the indictment

According to the indictment, Szyman "knowingly and intentionally distributed and dispensed unlawfully, and attempted to distribute and dispense unlawfully, a controlled substance outside of his professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose."

It lists 19 incidents between May 4, 2012 and Feb. 18, 2015 involving 12 different patients. The allegations include prescriptions for oxycodone, fentanyl, morphine, amphetamine, hydromorphone and hydrocodone. According to the indictment, a patient on June 23, 2014 received 3,800 tablets of morphine and oxycodone of varying strengths along with 30 fentanyl patches.

Szyman faces up to 20 years in prison on each count if convicted.

The Wisconsin Medical Examining Board has suspended Szyman's medical license. At a status conference last week, another status conference was scheduled for Aug. 15.

The Manitowoc County Sheriff's Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration investigated Szyman for several years, as FOX 11 reported last fall.

RELATED | Manitowoc doctor's prescribing practices under investigation

Holy Family Memorial Hospital, where Szyman worked for 16 years, terminated him last fall.

Magistrate Judge James Sickel designated the case as a "complex matter" and said the next step would be scheduled by Magistrate Judge William Duffin. Sickel set a "speedy trial" deadline of Sept. 7.

Szyman is not in jail. He remains free after signing a personal recognizance bond.

While free, the judge said Szyman is allowed to travel to neighboring states so he can see two doctors in Chicago.

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