FL surgeon refuses to give up license

Miami heart surgeon Alex Zakharia had resolved his legal troubles, or so it appeared. Dr. Zakharia, who was accused of fraud and perjury, pled guilty last fall to a misdemeanor which would spare him jail time. In return, he agreed to retire and surrender his Florida medical license by December 31, 2007. Aside from avoiding jail, the plea seemed prudent given a neurologist's letter filed with the court indicating that he was suffering increasingly frequent memory lapses. Now, according to reports, it appears Dr. Zakharia is still practicing medicine. With the doctor scheduled to be sentenced in Detroit federal court, the prosecutor there says Zakharia's lawyer has told him that Zakharia has decided not to comply with the agreement.

The 70-year-old physician was suspended in November 2006 by Miami-based Cedars Medical Center following the deaths of several of his patients, according to court documents there. That same month, he was indicted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Detroit on fraud and false declaration charges resulting from a deposition he gave in the case of a man suing the Veteran's Administration. Since then, Dr. Zakharia has countersued Cedars, accusing the hospital of malice and bad faith.

To learn more about the dispute:
- read this article in The Miami Herald