State College doctor charged with two felonies

A State College doctor accused of allowing an employee at a local clinic to operate an X-ray machine without certification continued his preliminary hearing, which was scheduled for Wednesday.

According to court records, Dr. Geronami Paul Kattupalli, 40, is charged with two felonies, including failure to provide radiation protection to patients and improper use of a monitoring device.

The charges followed an investigation conducted by Special Agent Donald Hentz Jr. of the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, the doctor knowingly allowed Chelsey Brown, an employee of Dr. Paul’s Clinic, a walk-in medical office on North Atherton Street, to operate an X-ray machine on at least 15 patients.

The criminal complaint alleges that Brown is not a “certified X-ray technician and her medical assistant certification expired in 2013.” According to court records, Kattupalli said that “Brown was the only uncertified employee” at the clinic administering X-rays.

The documents also allege that Brown performed X-rays on herself and a co-worker, in addition to the patients.

The affidavit alleges Kattupalli made the decision to have Brown perform the X-rays on patients because another employee at the clinic, who was certified to perform them, would only be able to work on weekends.

That employee, who was a certified radiologic technologist, was informed that Kattupalli would use Brown until he found a replacement to work weekdays, the affidavit says.

Court documents indicate that Kattupalli is responsible for ordering and reviewing all X-rays done at the clinic.

Kattupalli told investigators that he “has always had at least two to three ARRT (American Registry of Radiologic Technologists) certified radiology technicians on staff to take X-rays at Dr. Paul’s clinic.” He also maintains proof of certification on site for current and past radiology technicians, the affidavit said.

Kattupalli’s attorney, Philip Masorti, could not be reached for comment.

A second preliminary hearing has been scheduled for June 8 at the Centre County Courthouse.

Jalelah Ahmed: 814-231-4631, @jalelahahmed