Officials Probe Three Liposuction Deaths at Arizona Clinic

Authorities have opened a criminal investigation into an Anthem medical clinic where three people died following liposuction surgery.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said his office was investigating Dr. Peter Normann and several other staffers at the Normann Medical Group.

After two patients died, one in December and another in April, Normann was banned from performing more liposuction procedures.

But an investigator for the state medical board determined that a homeopathic physician, Dr. Gary Page, performed a procedure on a third patient on July 3, with Normann on hand once the procedure ended, a report shows. That patient also died.

Homeopathic doctors are licensed to perform "minor surgeries" but not liposuction procedures, officials said.

Page was denied a medical license in Arizona but was granted a homeopathic license because he was in good standing in Utah, said Chris Springer, executive director of the homeopathic board.

The state medical board said that Normann was being aided by staff members who were not formally trained or licensed and he failed to employ an anesthesiologist adequately trained in liposuction procedures.

Norman's license was suspended by the Arizona Medical Board on July 10. He will have a formal hearing on the emergency suspension before an administrative judge within 60 days.

A phone message left at Normann's office by The Associated Press Friday was not immediately returned.