State College doctor charged with two felonies waives prelim

A State College doctor accused of allowing an employee at a local clinic to operate an X-ray machine without certification waived his right to a preliminary hearing 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., who works for 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 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 Dr. Paul’s 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.

The case will proceed to a pretrial conference and has been added to the June term. Kattupalli’s formal arraignment has been scheduled for April 27.

Jalelah Ahmed: 814-231-4631, @jalelahahmed