Thomas Butler, the Texas Tech researcher convicted last month of fraud and improperly shipping plague samples, faces the possibility of having his license to practice medicine in Texas permanently revoked when he appears before a panel of the state board of medical examiners tomorrow (January 20).

Although the board is following its usual practice by keeping the case against Butler secret, its official rules state that hearings like this are scheduled only when its staff finds evidence “that a violation of the [licensing] Act has occurred.”

The complaint filed against Butler last winter has nothing to do with treating patients, according to his lawyer, Floyd Holder. It involves the incident last January when Butler announced that 30 vials of plague were missing from his laboratory, but later signed a statement admitting that he had previously destroyed them. He then faced felony charges that he lied to the Federal Bureau of...

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