Oral surgeon Stephen Skoly, blackballed by Rhode Island
Today’s blacklist story is an update from a story in February, where I outlined how the Rhode Island health department had irrationally shut down the practice of oral surgeon Stephen Skoly — denying 800 patients dental treatment and putting ten employees out of work — simply because Skoly had refused to get the COVID jab for valid medical reasons, including the fact that he had already gotten the Wuhan flu, had anti-bodies, and had other health issues that made getting the shot ill-advised.
Skoly had sued Rhode Island’s governor, Democrat Daniel McKee, as well as the head of the state’s health department, James McDonald. It now appears the lawsuit had some positive impact:
In March 2022, after over five months of suspension, and three days before a court hearing where medical experts were to testify to the irrationality of Rhode Island’s conduct, Rhode Island finally relented. It agreed to treat the N95 masked Dr. Skoly the same as other unvaccinated N95 masked workers. Dr. Skoly was permitted to re-assemble his ten-person dental team and return to practice.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Skolly by the New Civil Liberties Alliance, has not been abandoned, and instead has been expanded because of the state’s decision to deny Skoly unemployment benefits.
The lawsuit, Skoly v. Daniel McKee and James McDonald, seeks declaratory relief that Rhode Island violated Dr. Skoly’s constitutional rights, a permanent injunction to prevent Rhode Island from violating his rights again, and damages in part for denying him unemployment insurance during the period of time when he was prevented from practicing.
You can read the amended complaint here [pdf]. NCLA has added Matthew D. Weldon, the director of the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, to the suit, because his department denied Skoly unemployment benefits, even though it was the government that had made it impossible for Skoly to work.
It also appears that blacklisting imposed on Skoly specifically because he had had the nerve to talk to the press about his case. From the complaint:
Defendants explained that because Dr. Skoly had “opened his big mouth” by speaking to the press, he had made his suspension a political issue, not a medical issue. Therefore, Dr. Skoly was told, his choice was to submit to vaccination or to stay suspended.
The lawsuit claims Skoly was denied due process, equal protection under the law, and his First Amendment right to speak his mind publicly. It demands a permanent injunction against the state’s COVID shot mandate, payment of $15,300 of unemployment benefits Skoly should have received, attorney’s fees, and “any other just and proper relief.” It also demands a jury trial, something I am sure the governor and his minions want to avoid, as their ugly illegal behavior will not be looked upon favorably by most ordinary citizens.
The wheels of justice grind slowly to justice, but grind they do. Of the many horrible stories I have documented of ordinary people being badly harmed by illegal and unjust actions of the government and others, more and more are getting resolved in favor of the oppressed, with the oppressors more and more facing real negative consequences.
Whether the governor and his subordinates will face punishment is still unknown. Sadly, the law has been shaped in the past half century to make such government officials immune from punishment, no matter how evil their acts. This immunity must end, the sooner the better. Hopefully the repeated abuse of power by government officials in the past two years will force this change.
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