Michael Jackson’s Doctor Keeps His License

An Aug. 23 preliminary hearing is set in the manslaughter case against Dr. Conrad Murray

Last Updated: June 14, 2010 @ 11:21 PM

A judge on Monday said he lacked the authority to revoke the medical license of Dr. Conrad Murray in California, and set an Aug. 23 preliminary hearing in the manslaughter case against Michael Jackson’s personal physician.

The Department of Justice sought to revoke Murray’s license on behalf of the Medical Board as a condition of his bail, but Judge Micheal Pastor rejected the request, saying it isn’t his place to do so. Restrictions on Murray’s ability to administer certain sedatives — like Propofol — directly to patients in the states of California, Texas and Nevada — remain in place from an earlier hearing with a different judge.

Propofol has been cited as the principal cause of Jackson’s death last June, though a number of medications were found at his rented LA home. Since the February order, Murray, who appeared much more relaxed in court today than at previous hearings, has pretty much stayed out of the state and it is unclear if he even had any patients in California anymore.

Pastor said he wanted to prioritize the manslaughter case in setting the next hearing, which comes almost a year and two months after the singer’s death.

"It is very serious matter for Dr. Murray," he continued, "it is very serious matter for the Jackson family."

As at previous hearings, members of the Jackson clan were in attendance, including estranged father Joe — who wore his wrap-around shades the whole time —  as well as mother Katherine, brothers Jermaine and Randy and sister LaToya.

In Feb., Murray pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the June 25, 2009 death of Michael Jackson. 

On his decision not to revoke Murray’s license, unless there are "changed circumstances" down the line, Pastor cited Judge Schwartz’s initial "tailored restrictions" of the doctor’s license from the Feb 23rd hearing as, under precedent, having decided the matter. Additionally it was noted by both the judge and the defense that the Medical Board could have revoked Murray’s license months ago, without the court’s intervention, and it still could.