A Friant doctor has been restricted from practicing medicine until an evaluation regarding his alleged substance abuse is completed, the Medical Board of California said this week.
Dr. Emmanuel J. Fantone worked at Coalinga State Hospital from 2013 until April 20, 2015, when an officer noticed Fantone staggering while walking through a checkpoint, according to a 17-page report by the medical board. The facility is a maximum-security forensic hospital housing mentally disordered offenders and is on the grounds of the Pleasant Valley State Prison.
The officer noticed that Fantone had constricted pupils and was licking his lips. He determined that the doctor was under the influence and searched Fantone’s car, where 0.73 grams of methamphetamine were found, the report said.
When asked about the methamphetamine in his car, Fantone said, “I don’t know how that got there.” Later on, he suggested musicians he spent time with at a Clovis music venue may have left it there.
Fantone submitted a urine sample, which tested positive for cocaine and methamphetamine, the report said.
On July 14, 2015, Fantone was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance. Criminal charges against the doctor are pending.
Fantone obtained his medical degree in 1979 from the Philippines. He later immigrated to the United States and became board-certified in psychiatry in 2001.