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Kurt Donsbach, an alternative health practitioner who lives in Bonita, pled guilty to 13 felony counts on Friday, April 15. The charges he pled guilty to included “practicing medicine without a license, selling illegal and misbranded drugs, and other allegations involving his Internet radio program offering health advice to the severely ill,” according to an April 15 Los Angeles Times article.

Donsbach, who is 73, was sentenced to a year in jail. He will serve his time in the San Diego County Jail.

As reported in a Reader article last September, Donsbach had a business called Let’s Talk Health, which he sold to Jim Cartmill, who serves as a trustee for the Sweetwater Union High School District. Cartmill’s 2010 campaign material calls the business a “multi-million dollar business.” Donsbach’s nutritional supplements continue to be listed on the Let’s Talk Health website.

When asked in the September 2010 interview if Cartmill still supported Donsbach’s health practices, Cartmill answered, “We [Let’s Talk] just sell nutritional supplements. Donsbach maintains a presence on the website because those are his brand of nutritional supplements. They’re inspected by the FDA every year.”

According to the April 16, 2011, Union-Tribune, Donsbach’s defense attorney “argued that his client didn’t make the supplements but did make a mistake by vouching for their purity without testing them.” Some of the nutritional substances were reportedly laced with steroids.

In addition to the time served in jail, Donsbach will be placed on ten years’ probation. The Times article reports that during those ten years Donsbach will be prohibited “from referring to himself as a doctor, prescribing drugs or compounds, or teaching, writing or speaking about any nutrition or health-related issue."

Pictured: Kurt Donsbach

Photo credit: Quackwatch.org

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Comments

SurfPuppy619 April 16, 2011 @ 6:10 p.m.

:) @ "Duffy Burgers"...Duffy still the man after all these years...

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viewer April 16, 2011 @ 9:36 p.m.

Jim Duffy be the only one I knew of.

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VigilantinCV April 16, 2011 @ 4:25 p.m.

Color me cynical! Pillars of our community, indeed. What a great role model for our 41,000+ students in the Sweetwater Union Highschool District. Wasn't Jim Cartmill the board meber who offered up a prayer at the Gandara "Bridal Shower/Money Tree event? Breathtaking hypocrisy!

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Susan Luzzaro April 16, 2011 @ 5:22 p.m.

For those who don't follow the south bay news, I believe Vigilantinchulavista is referring to the string of U.T. articles on the Sweetwater Union High District's superintendent Gandara. The articles recount how he invited contractors who are doing big $$ proposition O work for the district to his daughter's wedding, and also how he had a district credit card with what appears to be questionable spending in addition to his expense account.

Surely there must be good role models out there?

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SurfPuppy619 April 16, 2011 @ 6:08 p.m.

Surely there must be good role models out there?

=============

Very few if any at SUHSD-I worked there, idiots everywhere.

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VigilantinCV April 16, 2011 @ 5:58 p.m.

I think there are good people out there but they can't compete against the thousands of dollars the developer/contractos spend to keep their toady incumbents in their seats. It is a mutual agreement. The developer/conractors allow them themselves to be shaken down as long as they keep getting contracts.

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savesweetwater April 16, 2011 @ 7:36 p.m.

Isn't Jim Cartmill related to this Kurt Donsbach and that's how the company was "sold" to him?

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Susan Luzzaro April 16, 2011 @ 9:20 p.m.

railsplitter,

I hear what you're saying about the unsung... and it's good to be reminded of that simple fact. But, how is it that so many politicians are so corrupt, seem to come from the same recycled group? I know one factor is the simple cost of getting elected...

It's hard to figure out how to go forward.

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joepublic April 17, 2011 @ 9:03 a.m.

Jim Cartmill, the Sweetwater School Board member who owns stock in the nutritional supplements company that supplied "Dr." Donsbach should be investigated for his involvement in this crime. The phony doctor Donsbach defends himself by blaming the maker of the supplements claiming that his only mistake was "vouching for their purity without first testing them". Shouldn't the company that makes these pills be held accountable? According to the California Education Code, immoral conduct is cause for dismissal. Doesn't the Education Code apply to school board members? As the public's trustees, the Sweetwater school board should order an independent investigation of Mr. Cartmill's ties to Mr Donsbach's scam. If implicated, he should be removed from the board for moral interpitude.

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SurfPuppy619 April 17, 2011 @ 10:03 a.m.

According to the California Education Code, immoral conduct is cause for dismissal

Actually it is crimes (as in criminal) of "moral turpitude", not immoral conduct.

And it does not apply to elected school boards, only to certificated personnel.

I am not defending cartmill, just giving you the rules/law.

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Visduh April 17, 2011 @ 10 a.m.

Of course Cartmill should be investigated. But if you're waiting for this DA, or the local US Atty, to get serious about corrupt pols or corrupt business practices, you will wait for a very long time. They get tough on the small fry, and let the big crooks walk. (One of the biggest is SD's "Mare" KFC Sanders.)

The really outrageous comment is when Cartmill claims that the supplements are ". . .inspected by the FDA every year." Absolute nonsense! The FDA has washed its hands of the whole nutritional supplement business, except for enforcing its ban on certain really bad stuff, such as ephedra which was the active ingredient in some weight loss products. But those supplements are a big, big business. Mostly harmless, they make folks feel as if they are safeguarding their health. Well, if you take those and pay close attention to your diet, you'll probably be healthier than if you did neither. But the supplements get dangerous when they are used in place of real medical care or end up impoverishing their users. Listen to the "nutrition experts" with their programs on local AM radio on weekends if you doubt that. Believe them, and you would believe that by taking those herbs and minerals you'll never grow old, never get sick, and probably live forever. As I said, absolute nonsense.

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SurfPuppy619 April 17, 2011 @ 10:05 a.m.

Of course Cartmill should be investigated. But if you're waiting for this DA, or the local US Atty, to get serious about corrupt pols or corrupt business practices, you will wait for a very long time.

Forever is much more than a long-time Visduh!

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SurfPuppy619 April 17, 2011 @ 10:11 a.m.

The FDA has washed its hands of the whole nutritional supplement business, except for enforcing its ban on certain really bad stuff, such as ephedra which was the active ingredient in some weight loss products. But those supplements are a big, big business

There have been numerous attempts to get better regulation of the supplement industry and the false claims they promote over and over again.

One very strong and powerful US Sentator has blocked virtually all of those attempts-Orrin Hatch of Utah.

Utah is the home base for manufacturing a large % of US supplements, and Hatch gets paid Big Bucks to protect the industry's false advertising.

There is a fairly good documentary out on steriods that goes very indepth into the supplement scam- it is called "Bigger, Fasster, Stronger" and covers all the bases we are going over here. . http://www.imdb.com/media/rm4258240256/tt1151309 . . http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1151309/ .

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joepublic April 17, 2011 @ 10:27 a.m.

Thanks SurfPuppy. I was referring to a teacher I read about who was dismissed for posting photos of himself on a Craigslist dating site. I thought the article said that even though his actions were legal and he was considered a competent teacher, his dismissal was upheld by the courts for immoral conduct. Anyway, it's too bad board members are exempt from what, as in this case, appears to be both immoral and illegal. What a double standard! By the way I meant to write "moral terpitude" not "interpitude". And Visduh, I think you're right on.

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SurfPuppy619 April 17, 2011 @ 12:58 p.m.

I was referring to a teacher I read about who was dismissed for posting photos of himself on a Craigslist dating site. I thought the article said that even though his actions were legal and he was considered a competent teacher, his dismissal was upheld by the courts for immoral conduct.

That case just finished up-it is the only case I have ever seen where a teacher was allowed to be fired without a criminal conviction, and I have followed this stuff for over 25 years...... Very unusual.

I am curious if there was was/is an appeal to the state Supreme Court on this case.

Don't get me wrong, this guy was a nutcase and IMO should not be in the classroom, but I think at leastt 35% of all teachers should not be in the classroom due to incompetence or other issues.

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joepublic April 17, 2011 @ 11:35 a.m.

( Spelling problems today!) Make that turpitude.

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joepublic April 17, 2011 @ 11:35 a.m.

( Spelling problems today!) Make that turpitude.

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cvres April 17, 2011 @ 3:45 p.m.

I watched the testimony of some of Donsbach's victims. Very moving.

As for Sweetwater District. The superintendent looks as unsavory as many of the board members. When I first read about the wedding and the money tree I wasn't that bothered, a wedding is a private affair. But then when you throw in the wasteful credit card expenses--taxpayers' dollars, well it continues to add up. Then another board member had trouble with the FPPC. I think Sweetwater needs to clean house.

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