Lack of pain meds, insurance drove woman to heroin, prostitution

USA – There’s a video on an adult website that appears to be created by two truckers.  One is holding the camera and the other is about to have sex with a woman who may be in her 60’s.  She has no teeth.  She looks haggard.  Her voice is the husky one of a chronic smoker.  She’s wearing a bright purple dress that contrasts her pale white body and blonde hair.  As a younger woman the viewer gets the impression she may have been attractive.

The woman sprays her body before sex with what appears to be a bug spray after she strips naked.    The man inspects her body while the cameraman records.  He puts on a condom and the two screw.  She finishes him off with oral sex.  Afterwards she’s inteviewed by the man who recorded the action.   He wants to know, “what’s her thing?”  He assumes “meth.”  She says “heroin” and “ready.”   “Ready” is slang for “crack.”

The woman explains how her doctor stopped taking her insurance.  To replace paid meds she said, “I hit the dope.”

Former pain management physician James Lundeen was accused of being a drug dealer by attorney Richard Michael DeWine without proof.. A raid of his 12 offices didn’t produce any evidence of a crime. No federal or state prosecutor prosecuted him. Lundeen said DeWine drove thousands of the patients whose pain he managed to the streets in search of heroin.

EJBNEWS previously shared a 2015 telephone interview of Governor Richard Michael DeWine from a February 16, 2015 newsletter published by the Ohio Task Force Commanders Association.  The newsletter featured a story headlined, “Ohio state, local officials working to prevent ‘pill mills’.”

After DeWine took office in 2011 as the state’s attorney general he caused 61 doctors and pharmacists to lose their licenses based on publicity-driven claims they were improperly dispensing prescription drugs.  DeWine acknowledged in the interview that he played a role in creating the very fear among the state’s physicians that drove many to stop accepting clients like the woman in the video who required prescription narcotics to manage pain.

“We certainly don’t want to deny these pain medications to anybody who really needs them, but they can be very addicting.  Many times, these people who were addicted to pain medication would switch to heroin because heroin is cheaper. Babies are born to addicted mothers,” DeWine told the interviewer.

In 2015 Richard Michael DeWine was Ohio’s attorney general and accusing pain doctors of being drug dealers. He drove them out of business and their patients hit the streets for drugs and death.

Former Ohio pain management physician James Lundeen ripped DeWine in his appeals for targeting Ohio physicians for investigations without probable cause; and for conducting raids of physician’s offices for incriminating evidence that didn’t lead to prosecutions.   Lundeen has never been charged for any violations of law.  

Prosecutors across Ohio refused to prosecute DeWine’s cases because he was the only witness.  In Lundeen’s case, none of his patients complained.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Carter Stewart, reviewed DeWine’s referrals and chose to prosecute  two of the 61 physicians and pharmacists whose offices he obtained search warrants to raid:  Christopher Stegawski of Cleveland and John Randy Callihan of Portsmouth.  The U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio didn’t prosecute any.   Local prosecutors didn’t pick up on the evidence DeWine gathered from his constitutionally-questionable raids.

Lundeen accused DeWine of fueling the state’s heroin overdose epidemic after he drove legitimate physicians out of Ohio who were treating Ohioans for pain.  DeWine, Lundeen said, made other doctors like the one the woman described too afraid to treat suffering patients.  Like her, they hit the streets for heroin.

Eric Jonathan Brewer

Cleveland's most influential journalist and East Cleveland's most successful mayor is an East Saint Louis, Illinois native whose father led the city's petition drive in 1969 to elect the first black mayor in 1971. Eric is an old-school investigative reporter whose 40-year body of editorial work has been demonstrably effective. No local journalist is feared or respected more.

Trained in newspaper publishing by the legendary Call & Post Publisher William Otis Walker in 1978 when it was the nation's 5th largest Black-owned publication, Eric has published and edited 13 local, regional and statewide publications across Ohio. Adding to his publishing and reporting resume is Eric's career in government. Eric served as the city's highest paid part-time Special Assistant to ex-Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White. He served as Chief of Staff to ex-East Cleveland Mayor Emmanuel Onunwor; and Chief of Communications to the late George James in his capacity as the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority's first Black executive director. Eric was appointed to serve as a member of the state's Financial Planning & Supervision Commission to guide the East Cleveland school district out of fiscal emergency and $20 million deficit. Former U.S. HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson told Eric in his D.C. office he was the only mayor in the nation simultaneously-managing a municipal block grant program. Eric wrote the city's $2.2 million Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant application. A HUD Inspector General audit of his management of the block grant program resulted in "zero" audit findings.

As a newspaper publisher, Eric has used his insider's detailed knowledge of government and his publications to lead the FBI and state prosecutors to investigations that resulted in criminal prosecutions of well-known elected officials in Ohio; and have helped realign Cleveland's political landscape with the defeat of candidates and issues he's exposed. Eric's stories led to the indictments of the late Governor George Voinovich's brother, Paul Voinovich of the V Group, and four associates. He asked the FBI to investigate the mayor he'd served as chief of staff for public corruption; and testified in three federal trials for the prosecution. He forced former Cuyahoga County Coroner Dr. Elizabeth Balraj to admit her investigations of police killings were fraudulent; and to issue notices to local police that her investigators would control police killing investigations. Eric's current work has resulted in Cuyahoga County Judge John Russo accepting the criminal complaint he guided an activist to file against 24 civil rights-violating police officers in the city he once led for operating without valid peace officer credentials. USA Today reporters picked up on Eric's police credentials reporting from his social media page and made it national.

Eric is the author of of his first book, "Fight Police License Plate Spying," which examines the FBI and local police misuse of the National Crime Information Center criminal records history database. An accomplished trumpet player and singer whose friendship with Duke Fakir of the Four Tops resulted in his singing the show's closing song, "Can't Help Myself": Curtis Sliwa of New York's Guardian Angels counts Eric among his founding chapter leaders from the early 1980's role as an Ohio organizer of over 300 volunteer crime fighters in Cleveland, Columbus and Youngstown, Ohio. For his work as a young man Eric was recognized by Cleveland's Urban League as it's 1983 Young Man of the Year.

Known in Cleveland for his encyclopedic knowledge of government and history, and intimately-connected with the region's players, every local major media outlet in Cleveland has picked up on one of Eric's stories since 1979. There is no mainstream newspaper, television or radio outlet in Cleveland that does not include an interview with Eric Jonathan Brewer in its archives over the past 40 years.