HOUSTON – A Harris County grand jury has declined to indict a Houston area doctor who was accused of stealing COVID-19 vaccines in December.
The jurors were asked to determine whether a criminal charge was warranted in his case after a magistrate and a misdemeanor judge disagreed in their rulings on probable cause.
Dr. Hasan Gokal was accused of stealing the vial that contained nine doses while working at the county vaccination site at Lyndsay Lyons Park in Humble on Dec. 29, 2020. The Texas Medical Board also dismissed the case, stating that there was insufficient evidence to prove that a violation of the Medical Practice Act occurred. The investigation determined that Gokal appeared to have administered doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to patients that were properly consented, in the eligible patient category, and they were given doses that would have otherwise been wasted, the board wrote in the letter.
Some of the doses went to the doctor’s acquaintances, and the last one went to his wife, who has a pulmonary disease, Doyle said.
In the letter, the medical board wrote, “Additionally, there were no established/written waste protocols or waiting list on December 29, 2020; therefore, no further action will be taken.”
Gokal was fired from his job with Harris County Public Health and was charged with theft from a vaccination site in January, but a judge later found no probable cause.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office released the following statement:
“A grand jury today declined to indict Dr. Hasan Gokal. Grand jurors were asked to determine whether a criminal charge was warranted in his case, after a magistrate and a misdemeanor judge disagreed in their rulings on probable cause. Public Corruption Division prosecutors presented all the evidence to the grand jury, which is comprised of members of the community. We respect the decision of the grand jury in this and every case. Evidence, not public opinion, is the guiding principle of our work.”