FAYETTE COUNTY, Ga. — A mother reached out to Channel 2 Action News, saying her son ended up in a mental hospital after taking drugs prescribed by a doctor who ended up in jail.
Channel 2's Mark Winne first broke the story of an investigation into Dr. Ginari Price's practice in January.
A prosecutor said the psychiatrist's clinic, Psycare LLC Clinic in Fayetteville, continued to churn out prescriptions even while Price was in the Fayette County Jail for DUI, fleeing, attempting to elude and more.
Now families are contacting Channel 2 Action News, saying Price turned their lives upside down.
Alena Long said Price wasn't in her office in November, December or January when her 9-year-old son with special needs needed a change in medication.
"It angers me so bad because I put all my trust for my son’s mental health into this doctor," Long said.
Investigators said the doctor has been in jail for not appearing in court and pleading guilty to driving under the influence and other charges.
Long said she blames her inability to see Price for her son being in a mental hospital, where at times he has been strapped to his bed, an image the mother said the public should see.
"He should be out kicking the ball in the yard at school with his friends," Long said.
Long said her severely troubled son desperately needed a change in medication, but no one at the office told her where Price really was.
"She does take the Medicaid, and it's hard. It's like, you just can't overnight get another doctor to treat your child," Long said.
Long said other doctors later confirmed the medication her child was on -- which initially worked -- triggered violent episodes.
"I had to call the police to my house on my 9-year-old," Long said.
A document Winne obtained indicates Price was arrested in Fayette County in 2016 on 12 counts, including fleeing or attempting to elude and driving under the influence.
Lawyer Matt Kilgo said Price pleaded guilty. "Accepting responsibility was the right thing to do," Kilgo said.
In 2015, Price was arrested in Fulton County, charged with two counts of DUI and more. In 2017, she was arrested in Douglas County, charged with seven counts, including possession of marijuana.
Earlier this week, Kilgo said Price pleaded not guilty in the Fulton and Douglas cases.
"We are actively fighting all the cases," Kilgo said. "We expect good resolutions in all those cases."
Amber Gonzalez said her main issue with the practice came when Price's office manager husband yelled at her 6-year-old, who was there for a sensory disorder.
"I wish I would have gone somewhere else, and I didn’t, and I just set myself up and my son," Gonzalez said.
Tom Barton, one of Price's lawyers, said he's not aware of any complaints about Price's performance as a physician. He said that she's a good doctor, saying her legal team is not in a position to respond to specific complaints about the practice.
Kilgo said both Price and her husband maintain their innocence regarding a prescription investigation. Deputies said Price helped her husband and two nurse practitioners prescribe medicine, even though they aren't licensed.
Cox Media Group