MARCO ISLAND — Reactions varied in the days following the release of a police report indicating that a longtime Island physician, and one-time political candidate, was charged with soliciting prostitution in exchange for his medical services.
Some say Andrew Guidry, a family physician specializing in internal medicine, should continue to be trusted professionally. Others say parents should not take the doctor up on his recent offer to provide free school physicals each Friday through August.
“As far as I’m concerned what his personal life is and what he does professionally as a doctor are separate. He is innocent until proven guilty and that’s all I can say in terms of this most recent charge,” said Gary Shirey, an occasional patient of Guidry’s.
Shirey said he first met Guidry in February and that the doctor was very professional.
“I wouldn’t have a problem going back for medical reasons,” Shirey said.
Guidry won’t automatically lose his license to practice medicine in Florida whether proven guilty or not.
“Conviction of a crime is a basis for discipline that can range from reprimand, to a fine and the ultimate, which is revocation of the license,” said Eulinda Smith, a spokesperson for the Florida Department of Health and Florida Board of Medicine.
Smith said a review by the board would determine the discipline, if any.
“It’s on a case by case basis and fielded on a complaint basis,” she added.
That means the victim, a law enforcement officer, another doctor, or someone in the public would need to make a request for the Florida Board of Medicine to review the doctor.
Smith said such a request remains confidential until the conclusion of the board’s review.
She said the details of the case, history of the doctor and several other factors would be weighed out by the board.
Marco Island police released the report on Thursday afternoon that may decide the fate of Guidry and his practice at Marco Medical, which is right next door to City Hall — a place Guidry also sought to spend more time when he ran for City Council in 2007.
Shortly after Guidry’s failed attempt at a council seat, a dispute led city officials to barricade the parking lot he once shared with City Hall.
The wall eventually came down and tensions thawed later in 2008 as the city began compensating Guidry for increased insurance costs caused by public use of the lot.
Guidry made headlines again in June when he was charged with battery following a domestic dispute. That charge, also a misdemeanor, was dropped earlier this month.
Guidry’s practice was also in the news earlier this year, when his partner, Mitchell Shaw, was discovered dead in the Naples office. It was a suspected suicide.
Now, new accusations involving the island doctor are creating news as a 24-year-old Naples woman comes forward with her story in which she claims the doctor offered medical services in exchange for sex.
The Naples resident, who operates a practice at Marco Medical on Bald Eagle Drive, was arrested at 4 p.m., July 20, at the Marco Island police station, right next door to his medical office, and released on a notice to appear in court.
Guidry, 46, was charged July 20 with solicitation to commit prostitution, a misdemeanor charge. Guidry’s defense attorney, Jerry Berry of the Naples law firm Berry, Day and McFee, could not immediately be reached for comment on the possible effects a conviction would have on Guidry’s practice or license to practice.
Guidry has expressed an interest to share his story with the media, but under his attorney’s advice has declined to comment.
Read the original story on the allegations, including details made by the victim in a sworn statement and comments from Berry, Guidry’s defense attorney, in related stories.