The state Medical Examining Board on Tuesday fined a Milford psychiatrist $15,000 for sending personal texts to a patient.
In addition to the fine, the psychiatrist, Dr. Ljudmil Kljusev, was reprimanded for inviting the female patient in 2007 to meet him at a restaurant, for sending her personal texts and for calling her “Sweety,” state records show.
The board considered the behavior a violation of professional boundaries. The same patient claimed that Kljusev also made sexual advances to her, but the medical board dismissed that portion of the complaint as unfounded, Diane Wilan, a state Department of Public Health lawyer, said Tuesday.
DPH had also investigated a complaint from another of Kljusev’s patients who said that in 2009, she went to see him at 7:30 p.m. and found his office filled with lit candles, and that he was holding a beer in one hand and then lit a cigar, records show. She got upset and fled, the report indicates.
State officials investigated the complaint, and Kljusev said that visitors had just left his office after bringing him the beer and cigars as a gift. He said he was putting the beer away when the patient arrived and had lit the candles to cover up the smell of the cigar smoke, records show.
The board found there was insufficient evidence to conclude that Kljusev’s office environment was unprofessional.
His lawyer, Trudie Hamilton, asked the board Tuesday to remove the reprimand. She said that Kljusev acknowledged that the text messages were inappropriate but that they were intended to support a “very challenging” patient with a long history of drug abuse. Hamilton said that there was no evidence he had a sexual motive in sending the texts.
The board did not drop the reprimand.