By Monica Alonzo
By Stephen Lemons
By Jason P. Woodbury
By Dulce Paloma Baltazar Pedraza
By Ray Stern
By Pete Kotz
By Monica Alonzo
By New Times
In a phone interview from his home in Gilbert, where he still lives with his wife and four children, Grade is difficult to understand. He sounds like a fine-tuned machine that's been fed the wrong fuel, his complex vocabulary packed with four-syllable medical terms.
Grade says that after he was released from jail, he hopped a flight to the Ukraine to find a new wife.
"After Ukraine, I was paralyzed in Kiev, it turns out. I'm thinking that's what I might title my book, Paralyzed in Kiev. Well, I was looking for a woman to have another family with because my wife, also a doctor, is in the middle of a divorce with me," Grade slurs.
"It's a meaty story. I became so ill through the course of this. Post-traumatic stress probably instigated from a sporting injury in 1984. I started to get ill [at] the time when the medical board came after me. It's one of the worst boards in the country. I've been doing these hyperbaric treatments."
After Grade's arrest, the board ordered him back into addiction treatment, but Grade didn't show up for treatment or the required drug tests.
In September, the medical board met to vote on Grade's license. Physicians usually bring an attorney to such votes and defend their right to make a living. But Grade didn't show.
On September 14, 2007, the board voted to revoke Grade's license, citing an evident relapse. It had been four months since Grade's arrest, one year since Kathryn Curtis Campbell went "code blue" during a routine epidural, three years since Laura Migliano died of a prescribed overdose, and 16 years since Grade graduated from rehab.
Grade still doesn't seem to understand that his license was stripped because of his addiction relapse.
Contacted by New Times, Dr. Emily Grade says her husband didn't practice under the influence.
"As physicians, we don't always get our records perfect," she says of the discrepancy between Grade's office notes and the actual prescription he wrote for Migliano. She thinks the medical board's strict discipline after Migliano's death drove him back into addiction.
"He had an amazing life until they took it away," Emily Grade says. "It's also a good lesson. Addiction is a lifelong risk."
For more stories from this series, check our special reports page: Prescription for Disaster.