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Doctor suspended after Local 2 investigation into drugs-for-sex allegations

HOUSTON – The Texas Medical Board has issued a temporary suspension of Dr. Thomas Taylor's license to practice medicine. The board took the action late Friday, less than 24 hours after a Local 2 investigation uncovered allegations contained in a lawsuit filed in Harris County.

The lawsuit alleges that Taylor exchanged prescription drugs for sex with patients in his office. Local 2 Investigates also obtained a video appearing to show Taylor engaging in sexual acts with two patients inside an exam room.

UPDATE: In 2015, the civil suit against Taylor was withdrawn by his former patient. Taylor's medical license remains "surrendered." He is unable to practice medicine legally in Texas.

In a statement to Local 2, the Texas Medical Board wrote that Taylor "poses a continuing threat to public welfare." The suspension is immediate.

Taylor was banned Friday from seeing patients at St. Joseph Medical Center while the allegations are investigated.

The online biography for the 71-year-old doctor lists him as the Academic Chief of Surgery at St. Joseph's in downtown Houston. He was also Marie Finley's doctor.

"I liked him. My daughter liked him also," Finley told Local 2 investigator Joel Eisenbaum.

Finley says she was shocked when she saw the Local 2 story because she had an appointment with Taylor, a surgeon and weight-loss specialist, next Monday.

"The nurse called this morning and said that the appointment had been canceled, the doctor was leaving town and she wished me good health," Finley said.

Local 2 Investigates found Taylor outside his home on Tuesday, Dec. 9. He offered no comment on the allegations.

Finley is now looking for a new doctor, along with other patients, one of whom says he underwent surgery by Taylor just three days ago at University General Hospital.

Don Spaugh, president of UGH, said all of Taylor's surgeries have been canceled and as of Friday his privileges at the hospital have been revoked.

Late Friday, Mark Bernard, CEO of St. Joseph Medical Center, released this statement to Local 2: "Dr. Thomas Taylor is an independent contractor and not an employee of St. Joseph Medical Center. Effective last night, Taylor is not permitted to see patients at the hospital while these allegations are under investigation. Based on the account provided by the media, we find the alleged behavior reprehensible."

Other hospitals where Taylor listed affiliations have also responded.

Bayshore Medical Center released a statement that officials there would be "taking appropriate action to remove the provider from patient care in accordance with its policies."

At the University of Texas Medical Branch, Taylor is listed as a member of the clinical competency committee.

"We have been made aware of the matter and are reviewing the situation," said Raul Reyes, a spokesperson for UTMB.

First Surgery Hospital in Bellaire said Taylor still has his affiliation there and was not aware of the matter. A staff member there said inquiries from Local 2 about Taylor were being forwarded to administrators.