Magi v. State Med. Bd. of Ohio (Aug. 9, 2011), Franklin Cty. C. P. Ct. No. 11CVF-3714
Board statute permitting discipline for crime involving “moral turpitude” is not unconstitutionally void for vagueness, and physician who was convicted of willful failure to file federal income tax returns for five years is guilty of a crime of moral turpitude.
The Medical Practice Act provides that the State Medical Board has authority to discipline licensees for misdemeanor criminal offenses involving moral turpitude. The Board disciplined Dr. Maga for violation of this provision of the Medical Practice Act because the physician was convicted of five misdemeanor counts of willful failure to file federal income tax returns. Based upon the conviction, the Board suspended Dr. Maga’s license.
On appeal, Dr. Maga asserted that the term “moral turpitude” is void for vagueness, but the court disagreed. The court held that while moral turpitude “may involve crimes of a heinous nature that shock the consciousness of the average person, the term also encompasses matters of a more garden variety.” The court found that a great number of citizens would likely find that an individual in a prestigious profession with a high income, who intentionally deprives the treasury of money due for five years was guilty of a crime of moral turpitude. The court upheld the Board’s determination that a physician who was convicted of failure to file federal income tax returns for five years in a row, where failure was intentional, is guilty of a crime of moral turpitude.