It had been unclear whether the board at the time was aware of the legal troubles of Ross Caputo, who founded Pharmacy Support Inc. after being indicted in federal court in 2003.
Newly released documents show that the board’s attorney saw a news story about Caputo’s conviction from a Chicago newspaper in April 2006 — a month before the pharmacy board voted to accept Pharmacy Support’s findings that New England Compounding had met the requirements of a consent agreement, which helped the Framingham company avoid a one-year probation.
An April 24, 2006, e-mail from board attorney Susan Manning about New England Compounding issues included an attachment labeled “2 guilty of selling bad sterilizers to hospitals.”
The attached article detailed Caputo’s conviction for fraud involving the marketing of faulty sterilization equipment by another company that he formerly ran.
Manning sent the e-mail to Jean Pontikas, director of the Massachusetts Division of Health Professions Licensure, board executive director Charles Young, and assistant director James Coffey, but the head of the agency that oversees the pharmacy board said the board was apparently never informed.
“We have found no evidence to indicate that the Executive Director or staff attorney of the Board provided this crucial information to the Board,” Dr. Lauren Smith, interim commissioner of the Department of Public Health, says in testimony prepared for the US House hearing Wednesday.
A spokesman for the administration of Governor Deval Patrick said Tuesday that Pontikas was placed on administrative leave last Thursday.