The Death of Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon, William Leighton, Shrouded In Local Media Mystery
December 23, 2015
Valley doctor investigated for botched plastic surgeries suddenly dies. Now what? What patients plan @6 on @abc15 pic.twitter.com/5qHsOYCVEu
— Justin Pazera (@justinpazera) December 24, 2015
ABC 15 Phoenix reporter Justin Pazera getting answers for deceased Dr. William (Bill) Leighton’s injured patients. Governor Doug Ducey said he’d open an audit into the Arizona Medical Board citing a greater need for accountability towards patients. It’s a start, but Attorney General Mark Brnovich should intervene on the victim’s behalf and criminally charge members of the board.
And it looks like ABC 15 doing their job finally #ForcedAccountability on the executives at TEGNA NBC 12 News, who realized they should do theirs:
Embattled Scottsdale plastic surgeon Dies https://t.co/o8tl2nclrp via @12News
— Wendy Halloran (@WendyHalloran12) December 24, 2015
Wendy Halloran’s full story: HERE
We asked Executive Director of the Arizona Medical Board Patricia McSorley what will happen now that there are pending complaints even though Leighton has passed away. In an email Wednesday, McSorley says at the time of Leighton’s death, the board was still investigating 10 complaints. However, McSorley has not yet answered what will become of those remaining complaints.
Here is McSorley’s statement:
“In response to your questions regarding Dr. Leighton, there have been 13 dismissals of cases against Dr. Leighton for the period 1997 to 2015 and at the time of his death, there were 10 cases pending against Dr. Leighton.”
On the previous Leighton post in the comments it was suggested he was committed to two urgent psychiatric holds and it appear McSorley gave reporter Wendy Halloran two statutes that allow the AZ Medical Board to continue to protect doctors at the expense of patients. It’s time for some FOIA’s to hit the Board. There should be no expectation of privacy now as he’s deceased and there are is still active ongoing investigations. We can’t fix the problems in a broken system if we aren’t provided with all the facts and when doctors are protecting doctors, even in their death, it’s clear the AZ Medical Board is hoping this just goes away. If /when the AZ Medical Board moves to dismiss these remaining 10 complaints Gov. Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich better step, stop it and investigate.
|The Arizona Medical Board is comprised of 12 members – eight physicians and four public members, including two licensed registered nurses. They are as follows:|
James Gillard, M.D. Physician Member – Vice Chair
Jodi A. Bain, Esq. Public Member – Secretary
Marc D. Berg, M.D., F.A.A.P. Physician Member
Donna Brister Public Member
R. Screven Farmer, M.D. Physician Member
Gary R. Figge, M.D. Physician Member
Robert E. Fromm, M.D., M.P.H. Physician Member
Lois Krahn , M.D. Physician Member
Edward G. Paul, M.D. Physician Member
Wanda J. Salter, R.N. Public Member
Teresa L. Connolly, D.N.P., R.N. Public Member
December 22, 2015
Embroiled in scandal Scottsdale plastic surgeon Dr. William (Bill) Leighton died a week ago today and you wouldn’t know it from an obituary or even the local media coverage. That’s certainly inconsistent & contradictory language to action for a family not to publish an obituary to alert friends, family and loyal former patients like Greg Parker and for media who previously covered Leighton’s many meetings before the Arizona Medical Board where he was forced to address patient victim complaints.
William (Bill) Leighton’s family includes wife, Lisa Archer Leighton whom he married in 2014 and according to her Facebook page, she was promoted at private health insurance company UnitedHealthcare in July 2015. It would be interesting to know if Dr. Leighton was under contract with UnitedHealthcare as his wife working for the company could have been a conflict of interest. Leighton’s family also includes two sons Joshua and Jason Leighton both Scottsdale attorneys.
A week after Leighton’s death and still no obituary. Reportedly the Leighton family asked the media, to respect their wishes and not report on the story until after an obituary was published and it appears station managers have agreed. Guess the wishes of those injured by Leighton didn’t matter when he was alive and he’s allowed to manipulate the facts without shame, remorse, guilt or accountability while not recognizing the rights of others even in his death and this time with the help of local media.
TEGNA, NBC, 12 News Phoenix, run by the ethically challenged President & GM John Misner, who readers may remember, dismissed local news anchor favorite of 14 years, Fay Fredricks without permitting her to say goodbye to loyal viewers while a false #RacismForRatings storyline was created for replacement anchor Vanessa Ruiz, who didn’t have an on air accent in July 2015 and suddenly did in Phoenix just a few months later. Both stunts were demeaning & insulting not only to his employees but to all local 12 News viewers.
It appears Misner, no stranger to manipulating facts without shame, remorse, guilt or accountability, is now very inconsistently & contradictorily not allowing the station to cover a story they previously did consistently cover, six times from September 2014 to October 2015, via reporter Wendy Halloran (and in her absence due to vacation, reporter Brahm Resnick*) which included:
The Boob Fairy –Maimed that Aired on September 22, 2014
Arizona Medical Board orders plastic surgeon to submit to formal interview after 12 News investigation Aired October 1, 2014
Arizona Medical Board to issue Advisory Letter to renowned plastic surgeon –January 5, 2015
Patients call for new testing of embattled plastic surgeon-March 25, 2015
Patient bares disfigured breast to AZ Medical Regulators-Aired June 3, 2015*
Scottsdale plastic surgeon issued third advisory letter by Arizona Medical Board-October 7, 2015
It’s highly doubtful a reporter who covered this story for over a year woke up and decided to walk from a story that now asks more questions than it answers. Leighton’s death is part of the on-going story. The very least his victims deserve answers as do taxpayers who will likely foot the bill for what should be an Attorney General investigation into the Arizona Medical Board. They allowed Leighton to still practice medicine despite grave illness where they issued three advisory letters and never sanctioned him despite just cause. There’s a pattern of encouraging, rewarding and replicating unethical & illegal behavior from the media to the Arizona Medical Board where doctors protect their own:
Dr. Robert Schulte, a Scottsdale-based psychiatrist, lied to the Arizona Medical Board about his drug arrest and subsequent addiction where it was then decided a letter of reprimand and probation was the appropriate course of action.
This site writes about abuse as a means to protect employees, patients, consumers, and taxpayers, who also happen to all fall in the purview of TEGNA, NBC 12 News viewers. When those conspire to manipulate facts, they are then complicit in unethically making decisions for the general public, which is at the very least dangerous and in some cases illegal.
Dr. Leighton‘s death does not erase the patient victims he left behind and for a news station to knowingly & willingly withhold information from the public, it should be criminal. And for the Arizona Medical Board to keep covering up for their doctors, it should be illegal. It’s telling the people of Arizona that if you have enough money and influence you can buy the media’s and possibly the Board’s silence. Leighton has a relatively small number of victims in comparison to the total population of the Phoenix market, but more than that, it’s total loss of credibility if one deceased doctor’s family can have so much influence, it should have viewers concerned about those with far deeper pockets and greater influence and have us all asking what else is the media, and specifically TEGNA NBC 12 News Phoenix withholding?
Please join me in asking Attorney General Mark Brnovich in opening an investigation into the Arizona Medial Board. And please call the local news stations and ask why they aren’t covering this story.
This is a business website and about how abusive businesses create employee, consumer, patient and taxpayer victims. This is not a tribute website.
This clearly was not large enough to read above so it warrants putting it here again. If you are in a majority and try and discredit those in a minority you are abusive and on this page known as Selective Tolerance A under The Sociopathic Business Model™
I can’t adequately express the pain and sense of loss I feel by the passing of Dr. Bill Leighton. His skill, talents and trailblazing techniques as a plastic surgeon are renowned throughout the country. The hundreds of smiles he gave to children and their families in Nicaragua and Mexico. The countless burn victims he returned a sense of self recognition to. The thousands of breast cancer patients he restored the feeling of feminism in.
I am talking thousands of patients who trusted read, signed and understood the risks of surgery. The physical results in some cases were spectacular, vast improvements in others and the few I read anywhere from 7 to 17 who were not satisfied with their result. None these came with a guarantee. There are always variables that can and will alter results.
Unlike your blogs or TV reports I won’t forget to mention the achievements bestowed upon him in his more than 30-year career. Voted one of Americas top surgeons and Americas’ s most compassionate Doctors, Phoenix Magazine Annual top doctor 15 times. Two times he was one of only 6 Doctors out of 480 candidates to receive the U of A college of Medicine for excellence in teaching Clinical Sciences. Chief of Plastic Surgery at Good Samaritan, Phoenix Children’s, Maricopa Medical Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Shea (now Honor Health).
His financial contributions include but are not limited to Courage Burn Camp, Medical Hands for Healing, 100 Club of Arizona, Beyond the Flames Foundation.
You discussed the pro bono cases as if ALL of them had some form of insurance that could be billed as if he wasn’t entitled to the same going rate as any other Doctor. I for one had no insurance and was never billed a dime. So your explanation of what pro bono is or was to Dr. Leighton is a serious misunderstanding of what his contributions were.
The above mentioned few out of thousands who felt they had poor, dissatisfying or unsightly results have been given or had the opportunity to report their issues to TV stations, bloggers such as yourself and have even bonded together to provide sensationalism for further media hype. It also has over tones of the pied piper effect. One of the patients herself stated she has had other patients used her situation to further advance their potential claim(s). I also thought I heard her say she can’t afford a lawyer? A personal injury lawyer will take a case on contingency. Is it possible she hasn’t found a lawyer willing to take on the case? How many of the thousands satisfied patients were interviewed? How many of the before and after portfolio pictures were shown?
As to Dr. Leighton practicing post a quadruple bypass or pancreatic cancer I say this. It has already been mentioned that neither are contagious and I believe the American Disabilities Act would have plenty of adjectives to describe the illegal, unwarranted and insensitive suggestion that Dr. Leighton give up his practice to suit you.
The circumstances of his death being published was clearly provided by someone who violated HIPPA regulations. Will you be publishing his/her name?
Long before Dr. Leighton was a Doctor he was a person a good person. He walked, laughed, cried, felt, loved and respected life like anyone else. He has peer’s friend’s patients and family who are grieving and are in great pain. Despite your unprofessional incomplete opinion of Dr. Leighton can you not respect them at this time? Or is your only interest in the sensationalistic story being picked up by other media outlets. Trust me your incomplete blog will never be picked by any reputable Journalistic venue. Somehow I doubt even the National Inquirer would be interested. Lest we forget even Peter Jennings had to step down for either adding to or not telling the complete story. My feeling is that some persons are just trying advance their political or journalism careers by destroying someone else’s.
Your absurd questioning of why No Obituary has yet to be aired or printed is laughable. Many persons elect never to place an obituary. I personally knew of a person whose home was robbed because thieves peruse Obits knowing the family will not be there. Family members also have many especially in Dr. Leightons case who need to be notified in person or in private. Maybe the holiday season had an impact as to when or if a service is held. How if or when someone elects to post an obituary is no business of anyone but the family.
I am pleased to say I am grateful to Dr. Leighton for imparting his advice, talents and techniques to multiple Students, Interns, Nurses and Doctors throughout the country to further add to and to improve upon his skills for the benefit of patients in need.
To those of you who have resorted to spewing venom with disgusting comments such as I hope he rots in hell. I am glad he’s dead. I pray you never kiss your family members or anyone else with those mouths.
Now that being said. Who am I? Am I a peer, a personal friend, a family member, co-worker Journalist political pundit? No none of the above. I am a person who survived breast cancer and was privileged to have Dr. Leighton perform breast reconstruction surgery on me in the early ‘90’s. To answer what I expect your retort to be I say yes he was a great surgeon then as he also was when I unfortunately had to have another mastectomy on my other breast. He performed reconstruction on me no less than four days before he died. Even then he we laughed held hands discussed family and any concerns I might have had. His concern was never for himself or anything else other then what he could do make me feel better. He told me if I needed anything not to hesitate to call. I want to be sure you’re comfortable. Well Dr. Leighton the physical pain is well treated the emotional pain of knowing your gone is not only difficult but untreatable. I pray you rest in peace and know you do so from a place you can witness your teachings to others in action. To his family friends’ peers and all of his patients I wish you all a timely recovery from this tragic loss of a great person and Surgeon.
“Every dead man is a saint & every living one a sinner.” Unknown
Gail, you are free to express and remember Dr. Leighton for his fact-driven achievements on this site however you deem appropriate; but, I will not tolerate you or anyone else coming to this site to insult and demean patients victims that his same “skill, talents and trailblazing techniques as a plastic surgeon,” created. It is clear from your misguided
manifestotribute that your pain and sense of loss, has, at the very least, clouded your sense logic or ability to reason with the goal of falsely canonizing him or somehow suggesting that all his previous success* somehow negates that fact that there are still victims who are still in pain and suffering.
It is inconsistent & contradictory for you to suggest that we all have compassion for what Dr. Leighton had to endure towards the end of his life, he created a pathological history of manipulated facts without shame, remorse, guilt or accountability towards his victim patients whom you feel do not warrant at the very least, the same level compassion you’ve offered Dr. Leighton? That makes you and others like you hypocrites at best and deplorable sub-humans at worst, just read through some of the positive Leighton comments if you should need further validation of that point.
*As for Phoenix Magazine Top Doctor 15 times, ask yourself how many times Dr. Leighton and the other doctors featured in the magazine advertised in that issue or throughout the year? It is a purely $ubjective piece akin to unethical native advertising. That annual list is nothing more than #PRSpin, as many excellent doctors I’ve worked with over my 13 years in the industry, were not featured and were never called before the Arizona Medical Board. Oddly, during my time as a medical device rep where, in part, I sold Stryker titanium plates and screws for trauma surgery that permitted me the privilege of knowing and working with a majority of the plastic surgeons in the State, yet I do not recall Dr. Leighton as Chief at any of the Level 1 Trauma Centers at that time nor did I ever work with him. Later when I sold pain pumps, again I did not cross paths with Dr. Leighton, yet I worked with many of the top plastic/reconstructive surgeons in the Phoenix area.
Your concerns over my ethics and your thinly veiled attempt to threaten with the comparison of suggesting what happened to Peter Jennings could happen to myself or anyone else who chooses to write the truth is desperate. To clarify, I am a business consultant who writes about fraud on a website as a means of creating more ethical business practices. This process includes exposing patterns of abusive behavior with the goal of protecting employees, patients, consumers, and taxpayers alike; and, that is why your dear Dr. Leighton’s unethical actions landed him here. It appears there are enough people like you to re-write history and turn an abusive person into a saint.
No patient was or ever would be disrespected by me. I merely stated the varying results of surgery performed in some cases were spectacular, some had vast improvements and others anywhere from 7 to 17 who were not satisfied with their result. I also stated they had venues to clearly express or display their concerns. One of those venues disagreed with the complaints presented. I also recognized ALL of patients when in the end I wished all a timely recovery. I will since rereading give you the point of now seeing that some do not consider Dr. Leighton’s demise a need the recover. So to them I say I also wish them a speedy recovery for whatever their need be. Speaking for myself cancer or no cancer I never appreciated being called a victim I find it’s a bit self-deprecating. I was a patient who had cancer. The persons you call victims I see as persons with dissatisfied results to surgery. I am also clearly not misguided. I too am informing the public by allowing them to know a more complete picture of who Dr. Leighton was. Your claim that I was inconsistent and & contradictory because of what he endured in the end of his life is in fact is not true as I never said it. I have no clue what he endured in his last days. Why? because he only expressed concern for me and what I was experiencing. I know you clearly read that. Your attempt to suggest otherwise is further evidence of manipulation and you assume most people won’t re-read it. By the way, how do you know what he was thinking feeling or even doing in his last days. You already stated you never ran into or met him. I am quite sure as a sales person for medical equipment or any other device you have not met every Doctor in the entire State.
Your demeaning remarks of calling me a misguided hypocrite and a deplorable sub-human is not only hurtful but unnecessary. In fact, you have never met me either. You suggested I read the other positive Leighton comments to further validate your calling me hurtful names. I have no need to read the positive or negative comments to validate my sole opinion of Dr. Leighton. I am quite capable of articulating it myself and did so. You just don’t happen to like it. so you resort name calling and cyber bulling.
I can’t attest as to how or how or much advertising dollars in Phoenix Magazine Top Doctor plays into the selection process of the top Doctors listed annually. I assume you are willing to enlighten us with the proof of your assertion. Even if you can prove it. Are you also going to deny him the honor or the pleather of the other mentioned Achievements, Awards and Contributions he has earned/made? Nor do I think you being a sales person for 13 years make you an expert on What makes a great Dr. As for those Excellent Doctors you mentioned never being featured or been called before the board. I say they read the newspapers read the blogs heard the News. If they felt the same way as you they merely needed to pick up the phone and call the Arizona Medical Board.
Dr. Leighton might not have been the Chief of surgery during your time as a Sales Rep. There could be an age difference with both of your careers occurring at different times. Are you suggesting he was not Chief of Plastic Surgery at Good Samaritan hospital? Or are you saying he was not the Chief of Plastic Surgery at any of the above mentioned hospitals? By the way Good Samaritan was and is a trauma l hospital and many of Dr. Leighton’s patients were emergent trauma 1 patients.
I made no threat to you your ethics or career. And I definitely never compared you to Peter Jennings as there is no comparison. The comparison you may be speaking of is not giving a more complete version on who Dr. Leighton. was and what he accomplished vs. what your opinion of him was based only on selected surgical results and without ever even meeting him. What I said was I won’t forget to mention the other Achievements Pro bono cases contributions that were never mentioned by you or other media outlets.
I also noticed your retort never addressed my concerns of suggesting we ignore the American Disabilities Act or who provided you with the circumstances of Dr. Leightons Death. Which I will repeat is a violation of HPPA regulations. I can only guess that’s not a violation of practice that concerns you. Or why you believe his family needs to be more timely in writing his obituary.
Speaking for myself, It’s my opinion that this is not what I would consider responsible journalism or for that matter responsible blogging. Selling medical equipment may be more appropriate considering how many people your trying to convince to drink the Jimmy Jones Kool – Aid.
“I also stated they had venues to clearly express or display their concerns.”
This site is one such place and if you’d like to carry on singing Dr. Leighton’s praises while continuing to demean and insult his victims, do it elsewhere. Perhaps since the media is no longer manipulated by their request to wait to run a story until after the obituary they can feel free to do so now where you can without fail re-write history on a memorial page, which this is not. I can assure you his victims will exercise much better judgment than his supporters have expressed.
“I also noticed your retort never addressed my concerns of suggesting we ignore the American Disabilities Act or who provided you with the circumstances of Dr. Leightons Death. Which I will repeat is a violation of HPPA regulations. I can only guess that’s not a violation of practice that concerns you. Or why you believe his family needs to be more timely in writing his obituary.”
I did not respond to this previously because it’s understood once the family contacted the media and asked that they not report the story until after an obituary ran, they violated the HIPPA agreement. Also, information suggesting Mrs. Leighton is considering suing the doctor that performed the Whipple would likely mean the family again violated the HIPPA agreement for a second time which means there is no longer an expectation of privacy. Also, I am not a journalist, I am not a blogger, I am a business consultant but since you need to put a name on what I do, let me put this in clear terms so that you understand the design of this website: I am a whistleblower.
Gail, I think you missed the point. The Medical Board was never informed of Dr. Leighton’s bypass surgeries which my first surgery was performed before and my last surgery after, just weeks after his bypass. If he would have been honest about his treatment, I can assure you he would have not been allowed to operate on me or others. He made many mistakes and I am not the only one. If the Board had really been aware of his treatment for pancreatic cancer then why was he still performing surgeries. Again, protocol not followed, end result pain and suffering for many. I have a personal list of 29 “victims” who will disfigured for life, in pain for life, emotinally and physically. Who will take responsibility for what happened? I still believe for the last several years he was unfit and I believe he thought he could still perform like he was not an ill, frail, elderly man.
Clearly you reported the circumstances of Dr. Leighton’s passing before the family made if they did, a request to the media asking them not comment on his death. All I can say of your chosen profession is I suggest you show up to work with the tools utilized in full working order. Your whistle is as I said before is blowing half the story. I for one am done. I believe I have expressed and accomplished what I set out to do. It was to inform your readers of a more complete side to Dr. Leighton. I again pray for peace and sincerest condolences to ALL of Dr. friends, family, peers, students and patients.
Gail, his family did make a request to the media which is unethical; and, your failure to see that, or that TEGNA NBC 12 News’ decision to honor that request was unethical only shows that you’re either unethical or completely clueless and, if that’s what you set out to do, you’ve succeeded.
Excuse me? Please tell me what family member ever made any request to any media. Please provide proof of such.
I stand behind my source and would have been sued (his sons are attorneys) if not fact-based, so there’s your proof.
Exactly. You have no proof. Just like your other false claims.
You’re suggesting I burn a source because, you as an abusive anonymous asshole, feel entitled to know how I obtained factual information? Never and if I wrote it, it’s sourced, meaning it’s true or else I’d be sued, but kindly do fuck off and troll elsewhere.
I am going to assume Smurfette you Amy Ashcroft are the same person as you both responded verbatim. If I assumed incorrectly I apologize. I believe a person returning to work post illness is a decision between his/her treating Doctor, him/her and their place of employment. As I mentioned multiple times. I have no problem with persons taking issue with another when they feel harmed in any way. You took that issue to one venue and were not successful. You and anyone else has the right to seek out further venues. Courts Lawyers etc. In the mean time I pray you find solace in the hearts of your family friends and possibly seek out a therapist in the hope of attaining a coping mechanism suited for your needs.
No, we are not the same person/people, I only respond on my site under my own name. I approve all comments (regardless of if I agree with them). Ethics, I understand, are a new concept to you Gail, but for some of us, it’s an everyday way of life. I will now, however, ask that you refrain from coming to the site and commenting as your passive aggressive “possibly seek out a therapist,” comment is not sincere but again an insult. Plenty of places for you to go on the internet, leave this one off your list. Thanks-Melayna
I met him in 2003 for a consultation to fix a unsatisfactory result from another doctor. During my appointment he became angry, started yelling at me and ultimately threw something across the room and slammed the door on the way out. I believe he had mental health issues.
I agree. He definitely had mental health and coping issues.
You may consider me as patient 31 who had a major botched Breast Reduction at the hands of Dr. Leighton. I have not come forward nor filed a complaint because of 2 reasons: a) it happened in Feb. 2006 and b) I live out of state now.
As a result of my surgery, I have nipple loss and a small lump of breast left, on the other, a misshapen breast that no bra can fit. I developed a severe E. coli infection in one breast, and continued to lose breast tissue for 8 months because the wound never closed. At the time, Dr. Leighton was pleasant toward me, and promised to figure out how to fix it. Of course, he never did because he left, and it was years later when I discovered that he came back and made an appointment. Upon seeing him, I realized he was having mental issues and began screaming at me. I had none of it and let him have it, telling him I was there for the repair he promised which never happened.
I hope all these women he harmed get their day, perhaps if I dealt with it at the time, maybe all these women wouldn’t have been harmed.