Well, Ingersoll nominally still is an optometrist as he battles to keep his Michigan optometry license after his March 10, 2015 criminal fraud convictions. While the Michigan Optometry Board still has not made a final determination, my recent Freedom of Information request revealed the details, including a consent order and fine, of a patient complaint made against Ingersoll in 1988.
According to the April 22, 1988 complaint, an eight-year-old boy (identified as “J.H.”, the initials used to protect the boy's privacy) was brought to Steven Ingersoll’s Gaylord, Michigan optometry office on November 4, 1986 by his mother.
According to the record, the boy complained of a “two-day history of redness” in his left eye and said the eye had swollen shut that morning.
Ingersoll, who at the time practiced optometry out of offices in Gaylord and Lewiston, Michigan, examined the boy’s eye, noting in his chart that there was “discomfort, the eye was light-sensitive, the pupils were normal and there was inflammation on the inside of the lid but not on the globe of the eye”.
Ingersoll concluded that the boy “suffered from a mild bacterial conjunctivitis” and treated the condition with sulfacetamide drops.
On November 5, 1986, the boy returned to Ingersoll’s Gaylord office with his mother.
Under Steven Ingersoll’s instructions, the boy was treated by an “associate” who again placed sulfacetamide drops in his left eye. The boy returned two days later, on November 7, 1986, and Ingersoll again examined his “left eye and administered Garamycin drops” in treatment of the boy’s bacterial conjunctivitis.
According to the complaint, Ingersoll's actions (which were outside of the medical scope of the practice of optometry), violated Section 17401(1) of Michigan’s Public Health Code.
Ingersoll was found in violation of three counts, including his diagnosis and treatment of the boy’s eye and his failure to instead refer the boy “to a licensed health professional authorized to treat diseases of the human eye”.
In the complaint’s final stipulation, Ingersoll’s attorney, the late Richard Bensinger, asserted that his client “was not motivated by
a desire for personal gain” but instead acted in “an attempt to be of assistance to J. H.”
Ingersoll, according to the stipulation, “was remorseful over the incident” and assured the Michigan Board of Optometry that “in all professional activities” that he would comply with Michigan’s Public Health Code.
Ingersoll was fined $500, and signed the official consent order (shown below) on May 26, 1988.
The letters of support that Mark Noss, Brad Habermehl and former Lake Superior State University Charter Officce head Bruce Harger wrote to the Michigan Board of Optometry on behalf of Ingersoll?
Sure, I know you want to see them again, and here they are in their inglorious glory: