DUI disappears from Harbaugh’s history
Is one doctor keeping a well-buried secret in Atlanta? Search the records of Dr. Norman Ross Harbaugh Jr., 61, President and Managing Partner of Children’s Medical Group and you’ll find plenty of information about his work as a pediatrician and the many prestigious facilities where he has been employed. What you won’t find is much regarding a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge that happened in 2017 in Gwinnett County, Georgia, a suburban county of Atlanta. You also won’t find any record of the DUI being reported to the Georgia Composite Medical Board. Either the latter never happened or the good doctor, also known as “Chip,” is excellent at having his records scrubbed. On May 7 of that year, Harbaugh was caught driving over a gore or paved shoulder – a gore is the space between an interstate and an exit ramp – and was not only charged with that particular moving violation but also with a DUI thanks to blood alcohol levels of more than .10 percent. He was arrested and paid more than $2,000 to bond himself out. He was arraigned on May 30, 2018, in front of Quinnett County Judge Emily Brantley, one of 50 cases heard that day. At the time, Harbaugh was with Children’s Medical Group, where he has since been promoted to president. The arraignment information is one of the only parts of the paper trail that has not disappeared, even though it should precisely map out the course and outcome for each defendant. One lucky pediatrician It seems as if Harbaugh got lucky, despite the serious nature of a DIU when the driver is a medical professional tasked with protecting children’s lives. If Harbaugh had been convicted, according to Georgia law, he could have lost his license to practice medicine or had his ability to practice significantly restricted, and he probably would have had to fork over the cash to pay heavy fines and face public or private reprimands. Hypothetically, if he had received his DUI charge prior to enrolling in medical school at the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine in Augusta, GA, his application for enrollment might have been rejected. DUI charges even raise medical board eyebrows?? Local Pediatrician with “friends” in the right places, appears to be questionable; to say the least. Normal Board regulations require any physician arrested to self-report within the required time. From there the case the board should have conducted an investigation, review of pertinent info, and then adjudicated the case how they deemed fit. Whatever finding is “recorded” and If memory serves, I believe the regulations also require all inquiries to be publicly available for review. A pure guess is that intention was so people can read for themselves. We could read for ourselves the facts that would show that a licensed provider arrested was indeed very innocent after proper review by the board, and thus preventing misinformation. But some curious and odd things occurred with the good Dr. Harbaugh when he was arrested for DUI. Any of the times before could have ended like on May 6, 2017, when lost control and careened over a gore with a blood alcohol level way over the legal limit. Surely a highly respected, socialite, and politically correct physician would accept it and take the proper life choices and accept responsibility. Disappointment would be the result of that expectation. Oddly the arrest is well documented, but a seemingly well-documented criminal offense would be handled in due course. But now four years later, still nothing further is recorded. So for the pious Dr. Harbaugh who in course of his work is known to have questionable harsh treatment of any other beneath him, that is similarly arrested. But when he recklessly endangers everyone, he appears to get special treatment. But we just want to understand the truth, so we reached out to Dr. Harbaugh for comment, to clarify everything, but have yet to have the call returned. So we are left to wonder who someone who self-promotes himself at “One of Atlanta Top Pediatricians” and quite fond of himself on the local news; manages to be arrested on two charges, both of which require him to a) self-report to the board and B) face equal fair trial as is expected for anyone accused. But the trial or proper adjudication of the arrest.. is kinda not optional, or if its optional when? And where is the form? The Georgia Composite Medical Board requires a report of the arrest and the outcome be made to the board within a short period of time. Here again more curious good luck befell the good doctor. While no record of Dr. Harbaugh self-reporting to the GA-Board can be found, nor its final adjudication. We were able to confirm at least one other trusted source reporting it independently. So if we assume he self-reported; that would be 2 missing board inquiries. Which seems amiss. We also reached out to the GA-Board, but they choose to decline all comments. Despite the clear public risk to our safety and Health it presents, they choose to be silent, while Dr. Harbaugh arrest remains unaddressed by the GA-Board per their own searchable database. Shouldn’t we expect the ones we, as a society, grant the authority to regulate both the doctors as well as themselves as a board. Why should we respect and allow a corrupt self-serving elite well connected few to fail to uphold the requirement of FAIR AND EQUAL TREATMENT, not variable treatment based on who unwisely follows the laws and doesn’t have political favs when convenient? The GA Board declines all comments on such matters, but public information should reflect the charge outcome and board action if any. Neither of these appears anywhere in Harbaugh’s board records. Sadly, Dr. Harbaugh had plenty of company amongst physicians charged with a DUI that year. The California-based Center for Professional Recovery estimates that about 2,800 physicians are arrested for DUI annually. DUI is one of the most common causes for board discipline, suggesting that unlike Harbaugh, most physicians follow protocol and file the required report. Harbaugh deliberately breaks protocol? It does seem unlikely that such a prominent pediatrician with so many influential friends would fail to properly follow the law, as he is allegedly known to quickly fault others for similar offenses. Certainly, Harbaugh’s current and former business partners who now sit on the GA Board could have helped him with the proper protocol, including filing a report. Unfortunately, there is no evidence of any action taken by the board, even years later when members finally learned of the DUI. Harbaugh still has his license to practice. There were no repercussions, even though a medical doctor “dedicated” to the health and lives of children so egregiously endangered everyone on the roads that night. Studies suggest that at the time of a first DUI, many drivers have already driven under the influence many more times, but weren’t caught or did not crash. If any of the rest of us were arrested on DUI charges, could we expect no consequences as well, or is that outcome reserved only for the rich and wellconnected? One anonymous source says the shear hypocrisy of him publicly declaring his devotion to children’s health both before and after the DUI is difficult to understand. More to the doctor’s story Harbaugh has held numerous positions of power within the medical community, including serving as the former CEO of Kids Health First, an Atlanta-based Independent Practice Association that includes more than 200 pediatricians. Harbaugh is also on the board of directors of multiple boards including Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, The Children’s Care Network, and Kids Health First, Atlanta. We reached out to Harbaugh for a comment, but the doctor failed to respond to our request. Harbaugh is a member of the Georgia Chapter for the American Academy of Pediatrics. In addition to being affiliated with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, he also has privileges at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta.