Fourth Judicial District Attorney Steve Tew says his office will not prosecute two doctors at the Veterans Affairs Clinic in Monroe who were accused in March of prescribing drugs for each other.
Dr. Cynthia Manning, 51, of Monroe, and Dr. Barbara Beard, 59, of Mangham, also were accused of falsifying their prescription records.
The charges against Manning and Beard came to light after an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA.
According to Tew, the doctors prescribing drugs for themselves did not constitute a criminal act.
“They are both doctors writing legitimate scripts,” Tew told The Ouachita Citizen. “The crime occurs when a doctor writes a patient a script without a physical exam or following protocols. When two doctors do it, it’s different, okay? It’s an administrative issue, not a criminal act.”
According to Tew, the doctors’ activities were a “licensing issue.”
Court records show Tew’s office informed the court there was not enough evidence to prosecute the charges. Assistant District Attorney Holly Jones signed a decline slip, dismissing all charges against Manning and Beard.
The July 8 decline slip for each suspect stated there was “insufficient evidence at this time.”
Beard and Manning worked full-time at the Veterans Affairs Monroe Community Based Outreach Center, or Monroe VA Clinic, on Bienville Drive. The pair have worked at the clinic since 2019. Beard was Manning’s supervisor.
In June 2020, the DEA received a complaint that Beard and Manning were prescribing drugs for each other. The state Prescription Monitoring Program showed Manning had prescribed Hydrocodone-Acetaminophen to Beard while Beard was prescribing Vyvanse to Manning, according to the Feb. 26 warrant.
During a February interview with DEA Diversion Investigator Teri Bass and Task Force officer Megan Russell, Manning told officers she had continued to prescribe drugs for Beard after she received subpoenas from the DEA last year.
Investigators found Manning had written 392 prescriptions to several non-veteran patients, including eight prescriptions for Beard, since February 2020.
From those eight prescriptions, Beard was suspected of having received 720 units of Hydrocodone-Acetaminophen.
Investigators also interviewed Beard. Beard told authorities she also had continued to prescribe medications for Manning and Manning’s family members after DEA began its investigation.
Since February 2020, Beard’s prescription monitoring records showed she had written 117 prescriptions for non-veteran patients, including hundreds of dosage units of Vyvanse, Diethylproprion, and Tramadol as well as some testosterone for Manning and Manning’s husband.