New legal woes for ‘pants down’ surgeon
A wealthy Queensland surgeon suspended from practise for allegedly dropping his pants and asking his colleague for oral sex while in the operating theatre has revealed he is a lead-footed driver who has been busted nearly a dozen times for speeding, illegal uturns, an accident and using his mobile.
Russian-born William Braun, 45, a surgeon who specialises in weight-loss surgery, from Hamilton, declared his driving record to the Supreme Court in Brisbane last month as part of his bid to be admitted as a lawyer.
Dr Braun, who changed his name from Vasily Voloshinov in 2003, told the court in his affidavit that he had been fined 11 times in the past 15 years for speeding, illegal U-turns, failing to give-way and using his mobile phone.
According to the affidavit he was slapped with a $353 fine in April 2016 when he crashed into another car at an intersection after he failed to give-way, and he was fined $333 and lost four points from his licence when he was caught driving at 82km/h in a 60 zone on his way home from Murrumba Downs in February 2011, according to his affidavit.
Between March and July 2017 he was busted speeding three times, and was given a choice of having his driver's licence suspended or to receive a good behaviour bond, opting for a bond.
"I was quite under a lot of stress being a surgeon and a father of a one-year-old child rushing from hospital to hospital, very often short on time," Dr Braun told the court in his affidavit.
In March 2017 he was fined $243 for speeding between 13km/h and 20km/h over the limit on the Pacific Motorway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast as he was late for his own wedding.
The next month he was fined again for the same speeding offence, and in July he was busted speeding by 6km/h as he rode his motorbike along Hornibrook Esp in Redcliffe, Dr Braun says in his affidavit.
In May 2017 he was also fined $365 for picking up his mobile phone while stopped at traffic lights on Sandgate Rd in Nundah on his way to hospital for surgery.
Dr Braun said the call was from his anaesthetist and it was "an emergency" but the police officer rejected this excuse, according to the court document.
Dr Braun fought the fine in the Brisbane Magistrates Court but on February 1, 2018 Acting Magistrate Rob Turra found Dr Braun guilty of using his phone while driving and recorded a conviction.
He was also fined for using his phone in July 2010 when the Rockhampton hospital called him as he drove away from the airport, and in 2006 he was fined for doing an illegal U-turn on the Pacific Motorway in Coffs Harbour on his way to the hospital.
Dr Braun claimed other cars were also making U-turns and he was "the one who was stopped by the police".
The disclosure of his driving history was made on an "statement of eligibility and suitability" required for his admission as a lawyer in Queensland, where he is obliged to reveal matters "which may bear adversely" on his "suitability" to be a lawyer.
"To the best of my knowledge and belief I am a fit and proper person," Dr Braun declared on the form.
"I am very remorseful about all the incidents described," he stated in his affidavit.
Dr Braun, has been suspended from practising as a surgeon by Metro North Hospital and Health Service since February last year and cannot return to work until an investigation by the Office of the Health Ombudsman is complete. The investigation is "complex and protracted" and remains in the evidence-gathering stage, court documents state.
Dr Braun says in his affidavit the allegations of sexual harassment, bullying and clinical concerns "are baseless" and he has previously been cleared by other medical investigations.
He is accused of dropping his pants in an operating theatre at North West Private Hospital in front of both nurses and medical equipment representatives while a tailor measured him for a new suit.
Dr Braun denies the event ever occurred.
Other claims made against Dr Braun, and included in court documents in his bid to become a lawyer, include that he "would rush" surgical procedures so that he "could leave the hospital" and that he used foul language at work. He denies the claims.
Dr Braun claims in a separate court case that he has lost $2.3m in "professional fees" from being unable to work in private practice between February 2019 and February 2020.
Dr Braun told the court he completed a Juris doctor degree last year and a graduate diploma in legal practice in March.
His application to the Supreme Court to be admitted to the legal profession was set down for June 1, but was adjourned due to COVID-19.
No date has been set.
Originally published as New legal woes for 'pants down' surgeon