Prosecutors: Patient Got Root Canal From Unlicensed Office Manager
A note of warning if you're a bit jittery about seeing the dentist...
Prosecutors in New York City say a dental office manager, who was not licensed in the state, performed complicated procedures on patients, including at least one root canal.
Valbona Yzeiraj, 45, is accused of causing physical harm to at least two patients, the New York Times reported. Prosecutors say a botched root canal by Yzeiraj caused one person to contract an infection.
She was arrested Thursday after performing at least five dental procedures at the Bronx office while her boss was away. Yzeiraj is also accused of trying to steal $20,000 from her former employer, who fired her when he found about the procedures.
Ms. Yzeiraj, who was arrested on Thursday in White Plains, told patients she worked as a dentist in her native Albania before immigrating to the United States in 2003, said Terry Raskyn, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office. But Ms. Rafkyn said that there was no indication that she had ever studied or practiced dentistry in any country, and that she was not licensed to practice medicine in New York State.
Ms. Yzeiraj was arraigned on charges including unauthorized dental practice, assault in the second and the third degrees, reckless endangerment and attempted grand larceny.
On "Happening Now," today we heard some legal analysis of the strange case from former prosecutor Fred Tecce and defense attorney Rebecca LeGrand.
LeGrand was asked how she would handle the case if she were defending Yzeiraj. She said she would start by looking to see if there were other patients who were helped by Yzeiraj, who has pleaded not guilty.
Tecce said if anyone gets this woman acquitted they should get the "Nobel Prize for defense."
LeGrand questioned whether customers sought out Yzeiraj because they were uninsured and needed care.
She added that Yzeiraj's actions would still be illegal, but those factors could "mitigate" the potential sentence.
Watch the discussion above.