A court hearing at which a former Carol Stream doctor is seeking to seal his battery conviction for fondling a patient in 2004 was postponed today to next month after a DuPage County judge recused himself.
Dr. Angelo Consiglio wants to seal his criminal record in Illinois to help jump-start his new practice in the Florida Keys, where he has worked since 2008 under a restricted license due to the misdemeanor conviction.
Judge Cary Pierce recused himself because he thought he might have family members who have seen Consiglio professionally. The hearing was continued until April 1 to allow a new judge time to review the legal issues.
Consiglio’s attorney, Sal Miglore, said sealing his client’s record would allow the ears, nose and throat specialist to expand his Florida practice through medical group associations and referrals. Miglore also said that Consiglio lost a $400,000-a-year contract with the Sinai Medical Group after the Tribune recently profiled his case.
"He is a talented, bright surgeon who unfortunately really screwed up his life," Miglore said. "He is rehabilitated and now can't even perform a surgery because he doesn't have hospital privileges."
Miglore concedes Illinois law excludes battery as an offense that can be sealed. But at the time of the doctor’s 2005 guilty plea, the offense wasn’t banned. Miglore said Consiglio, 54, wouldn’t have pleaded guilty under the present law and, therefore, it wasn’t “knowing and voluntary.”
Assistant DuPage County State’s Attorney Jennifer Lindt said the prevailing law is what is on the books now and not what it was when Consiglio pleaded. She argues he abused his position of trust and authority and not only harmed his patient, but also the entire medical profession.
Consiglio did not appear in court, but the former patient whom he admitted inappropriately touching was prepared to testify.
In her police report, Elmhurst resident Kate Byrnside said Consiglio pulled her sweater up over her bra and groped her breast during a Jan. 5, 2004 office visit after she became dizzy and warm during a sinus procedure. Later, when she tried to leave his Carol Stream office, the doctor forcefully kissed her, she said.
Consiglio pleaded guilty on Jan. 26, 2005, to misdemeanor battery and was sentenced to a year’s probation.
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, the agency that disciplines doctors, suspended his license for four months. It was reinstated in August 2006 after another 14-month probation period that required Consiglio to use a chaperone when treating female patients and complete a course on appropriate professional conduct.
While attending a program in which professionals are treated for sex addictions and other problems in 2005, he disclosed having at least three other sexual relationships with patients, records show. Illinois regulators said they never found out about the disclosure before lifting his probation and, if they had, his punishment would have been harsher.
Consiglio got a restricted Florida medical license in March 2008 after a 10-month screening process in which the prior indiscretions with his patients were revealed. Another former patient also came to court today in opposition of his petition. Susi Horneck said she had a brief relationship with Consiglio in 1995. The 49-year-old Carol Stream woman said she reported him in 2000, but the statute-of-limitations to discipline the doctor had expired.
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