Medical Examiners Revoke License of Addiction Doctor

Mark Catalanello did not attend Friday's hearing after being cited for a second DUI and failing to report a crash

By Dillon Tabish

HELENA — The Board of Medical Examiners on Friday revoked the license of a physician previously employed by the state for refusing to undergo drug screening that was a condition of the 2007 reinstatement of his medical license after a DUI conviction.

Mark Catalanello did not attend Friday’s hearing after being cited for a second DUI and failing to report a crash on Thursday night near Anaconda. Officials with the Powell County Justice Court said Catalanello posted $1,940 bail on Friday morning. He has not appeared in court to answer the citations.

At the time of Thursday’s crash, Catalanello was out on bail from a March 4 arrest at a bar in Butte. He was charged with disorderly conduct and marijuana possession. He did not enter a plea and told the judge he had a private attorney.

A friend of Catalanello’s participated in Friday’s conference call with the Board of Medical Examiners and asked them to suspend Catalanello’s license indefinitely to give him time to seek treatment.

“He has an addiction problem, as you all know,” said Ron Kelley, who told the board he had planned to bring Catalanello to Friday’s hearing.

The board told Kelley he couldn’t advocate on Catalanello’s behalf because he wasn’t his attorney.

Catalanello worked at the Montana State Hospital in Warm Springs and was the part-time director of the Montana Chemical Dependency Center in Butte when co-workers began reporting last August that he was acting erratically, had a disheveled appearance and was behind on charting.

Following a Montana Professional Assistance Program retreat, a housekeeper found a bag containing illicit drugs in a hotel room shared by Catalanello and his girlfriend, the board found. He told investigators his girlfriend had relapsed.

He failed to show up for work on Sept. 26, and when co-workers called him Catalanello’s speech was slurred and he did not respond with coherent thoughts, the co-worker told the board.

A few days later, Catalanello refused to provide monitored urine and hair samples for a drug test.

Catalanello told The Associated Press in November that the board had no evidence of any drug or alcohol use on his part and noted that two toxicology tests came back clean.

However, under his agreement with the Montana Professional Assistance Program, his refusal to submit to the monitored test was the same as having a positive test.

The state put Catalanello on leave, and his license was suspended in October.

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