Former Chargers physician and close friend of the late Junior Seau, David Jee Wei Chao, M.D., is in trouble with the Medical Board of California once again. An accusation was filed against him April 27.
In 2012, the medical board issued a public reprimand against Chao after the doctor was convicted of a crime related to medicine involving "dishonest and corrupt acts." In 2014, Chao was placed on five years of probation for gross and repeated negligence and "dishonest and corrupt acts."
The latest accusation goes into detail on Chao's relationship with former Charger Junior Seau, who committed suicide in 2012 (tomorrow, May 2, marks the anniversary of his death).
In 2014, Chao was interviewed by investigators about his relationship with Seau. Chao explained that over the years, he and Seau developed "a close and personal friendship." At one time, Chao and Seau, along with other friends, had a pact that they would try to prevent anyone in the group from committing suicide.
In October of 2010, a car driven by Seau veered off a cliff in Carlsbad. The same morning, Seau had been arrested and released from jail on suspicion of assault in an incident that involved his girlfriend. Chao visited Seau the day of the accident and asked him if driving off the cliff was an attempted suicide. Seau denied that it was and Chao accepted the football player's explanation.
In the last 18 months of Seau's life, Chao wrote 14 prescriptions for him for Ambien, a controlled substance. "Ambien has central nervous system depressant effects and its use can potentially worsen symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts," says the medical board. Chao had also written Ambien prescriptions to Seau while he was still playing in the National Football League. Chao declared that Seau was "without depression or any other psychological issues" one week before the player took his life.
However, Chao failed to document an appropriate history of Seau's use of the controlled substance, says the medical board. Also, Chao failed to consult with another medical provider during the period Seau was getting treatment with a controlled substance.
Chao has been in the news in the past. In April of 2013, deadspin.com had a headline: "Chargers' Doctor Is a Drunk Quack. Why Haven't They Fired Him?"