By LEWIS SPEARMAN
Harris County Arson Investigators filed felony charges August 29 against a local family doctor after a 36-month investigation.
Those charges include insurance fraud from a pair of watches pawned that were alleged to have been destroyed in a fire said to be started by incendiaries. The doctor was the primary beneficiary of the insurance policies.
Two other items not yet reported are that Dr. David Mark McClellan, 53, frequently provided medical services to poor and indigent families free of charge and it was announced on Sept. 1 that he would return from a vacation trip in New Mexico to Houston to answer the charges on Sept. 4. He has practiced medicine in Texas since 1981 and his office is now at 14626 F.M. 2100 in Crosby.
The Star -Courier called to find out if McClellan had returned but was only told by the answering service As of August 30, the office will be closed for 45 days.
He has reportedly hired an John Rivas, an attorney from Austin to defend against legal charges.
A warrant was issued for his arrest, according to authorities. Five fires over ten years consumed three houses, a Jaguar allegedly reported stolen and blazes damaged the doctor’s office north of the railroad tracks at 5911 F.M. 2100 on November 23, according to Senior Investigator Dustin Deutsch. One of those houses was a vacation house in New Braunfels, that had been allegedly damaged by water and another was in Highland Woods on Welford in June of 2004.
Firefighters at the Welford residence said that the doctor was not at home. Firefighters say that a woman at the scene claimed to be the doctors wife, watched as the house burned.
It is from the Welford fire that the two Rolex watches, allegedly reported by McClellan to the insurance company, to have been consumed by flames that later turned up in a pawn shop, pawned by his ex-wife and an employee.
Authorities said that McClellan’s ex-wife originally told investigators he set one of the fires, but without evidence no arson charges were brought against him.
Deutsch issued the following statement, For any one person to experience this amount of fire loss is unprecedented. It’s not a coincidence. It’s just a simple act of greed.
We have no direct evidence that ties him specifically to setting any fires. Deutsch stated at a press conference August 30.
McClellans license to practice medicine was temporarily suspended Aug. 15.
The Texas Medical Board suspended his license for “engaging in inappropriate behavior with female patients,” board records show.
McClellan said that he was innocent of the charges and multiple witnesses testified on both sides of the hearing before the Texas Medical Board.
McClellan indicates charges were from a conspiracy involving one of his three ex-wives.
A 2004 law enforcement complaint accused McClellan of raping a female patient, but the charge was dropped. Nine other complaints of various types of sexual misconduct date from 1993.
Another complaint was made for writing prescriptions for pain medication without proper procedure.
McClellan received deferred adjudication on March 7, 2002 after pleading no contest to an assault by contact charge. He allegedly licked a patients ear.
The Texas Medical Board put McClellans license on probation due to “unprofessional conduct toward a female patient,” in 1993 for 10 years, he was ordered to have a female chaperone with him at all times when a female was in the examining room with him.
If convicted of insurance fraud the doctor could permanently lose his license to practice.
This is the best case we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt at this time,” Deutsch said.
By LEWIS SPEARMAN