Democratic donor running ads hitting Hensley over prescription case involving paramour

A copy of newspaper ads Bill Freeman is running in the district of Sen. Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald)

Prominent Democratic donor Bill Freeman of Nashville is running ads in Republican state Sen. Joey Hensley’s district criticizing the Hohenwald physician over conflicting testimony about how long he was romantically involved with a second cousin to whom he had prescribed opioids.

The state Board of Medical Examiners last year placed Hensley’s license on a three-year probation. Hensley had argued in a hearing that writing prescriptions for relatives was unavoidable in a small town like Hohenwald, suggesting it would have been “discrimination” for him to refuse them treatment.

The senator later acknowledged other medical care is available, as a doctor and nurse practitioner routinely visit the town. The Tennessean reported medical board member Neal Beckford noted Columbia is only 30 miles away, meaning other medical options may be “inconvenient
but not insurmountable.”

The Tennessean recently followed up with a story about how Hensley’s involvement with his second-cousin may have lasted longer than the brief spell he testified about during the hearing.

Read the full release from Freeman below:

Nashville, Tenn., June 7, 2021 – Tenn. State Senator Joey Hensley (R-Hohenwald), a medical doctor with a practice in the small town of Hohenwald, Tenn., is facing “conflicting testimony.” As far back as December of 2014 Hensley was accused of unethically prescribing opioids and controlled substances for his family members, including his second cousin, with whom he was having sex. In November of last year, his medical license was put on probation when the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners unanimously found him in violation of medical ethical standards. The “conflicting testimony” charges he’s currently facing relate to how long his relationship with his cousin actually went on and how often he prescribed the drugs for her. The Tennessean, noted during a discipline hearing before the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners, a state investigator testified Hensley wrote this woman [his cousin] at least 47 prescriptions for controlled substances from 2011 to 2018, which includes the time period of their romantic relationship.

Hensley had claimed his relationship with his cousin was short-lived and that only two prescriptions fell into that timeframe. Sworn documents from his cousin’s divorce trial detailing her statements show their relationship went on for years, not months. Additionally, the couple spent the night together in a hotel two years after the senator claimed the relationship had ended.

The senator was already fined $2000 and his medical license put on probation but the consequences could have been much more harsh if the board would have had information that proved a longer relationship and longer periods of unethical behavior. The Tennessee Department
of Health would be responsible for re-examining his testimony. The Medical Examiners’ Board could restart the investigation by filing a new complaint about conflicting testimony with the health department – and invoke a harsher punishment.

In 2017, nearly 1800 Tennesseans died from drug overdose and 1,268 were from opioids, according to the Tenn. Dept. of Health. Senator Hensley serves on the Tennessee Senate’s Health and Welfare Committee, where he considers legislation that regulates opioids. He knows the dangers of addiction.

Governor Lee has remained quiet throughout this entire debacle. Despite his own reputation for moral standards, ethics and family values he and the Republican Party leadership have not taken a position.

Senator Hensley has been a disgrace to his party, has been reported as practicing unethical behavior via inappropriate RXs and affairs to perhaps even lying. Why is the governor not speaking up and getting that guy out of there?

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