Wrangell Sentinel -

By Dan Rudy 

Wrangell doctor charged in child porn case

 

File Photo

Greg Salard

On the morning of Oct. 15, Wrangell physician Greg Salard was arrested for the alleged receipt, possession and distribution of child pornography following a search of his home by law enforcement personnel representing federal, state and local agencies.

According to an affidavit in support of application for an arrest warrant, the arrest came following a five-month investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Anchorage office in which FBI Special Agent Anthony Peterson monitored a peer-to-peer file sharing network engaged in exchanging the illicit material.

The affidavit alleges an Internet Protocol (IP) address linked Salard to the network and that he had used it between February 1 and October 5 to share at least 104 files containing videos and images suspected of being child pornography.

A laptop in the home at the time of the search was in the process of having its files erased. According to the criminal complaint, the program had been initiated two minutes after authorities first knocked on Salard's door. The report alleged two illicit files were initially found on the computer and that a more detailed examination located

25 other files which had been deleted.

Salard was brought to Lemon Creek Correctional Facility in Juneau after his arrest and arraigned Friday. He made his first public court appearance Monday at the U.S. District Court, where Salard requested that a court-appointed defender represent him.

Until his arrest, Salard had been a physician specializing in family practice employed by Alaska Island Community Services. He was chief of staff at Wrangell Medical Center since July 2013.

Salard's privileges at the hospital were temporarily suspended between April 15 and May 5, 2011, following allegations of improper interaction with patients.

After an internal investigation, at the recommendation of medical staff he was reinstated by the WMC Board of Trustees. However, the Board later voted not to extend his privileges to the hospital after Nov. 16, 2011, and following a review hearing the board decided to deny Salard's privileges on March 2, 2012.

The hospital denied Salard privileges based on his conduct toward and interaction with patients and the WMC staff, according to court documents.

Salard continued to challenge the Board's decision until after a recall election that fall recalled eight of its nine sitting members. With mostly new members and a new hospital head, Salard's unrestricted hospital privileges were returned on Feb. 26, 2013, allowing him to again work in the emergency room and resume his normal medical duties.

Shortly after his reinstatement, Salard was made WMC chief of staff on July 8, and was appointed to the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee of the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services later that fall.

A notice on both the AICS and WMC websites state: "Dr. Salard's medical privileges at both Alaska Island Community Services and the Wrangell Medical Center have been suspended pending further investigation. We are deeply concerned about the impact these events have had and will have on our community."

In addition to the notice, AICS is offering counseling to members of the community. Those interested are asked to contact Angela Allen at 874-2373 to schedule a time.

Salard is next due in court Oct. 28 for his detention and preliminary hearings.

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