Former doc pleads guilty to writing bad prescriptions

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A former Grand Rapids doctor accused of writing unnecessary prescriptions for thousands of opioid pills will face sentencing.

Richard Piazza has pleaded guilty to three counts of writing illegal prescriptions for oxycodone and hydrocodone.

Federal authorities say Piazza admitted to writing the prescriptions to people he knew were selling the pills on the street.

Court documents note the Drug Enforcement Administration was tipped off by a pharmacist who noticed he was writing thousands of prescriptions for opioids.

Piazza previously worked for the Society of Healing Arts Institute in Grand Rapids’ Eastown neighborhood and at a Stanton clinic through Sheridan Community Hospital.

Target 8 found a former co-worker attempted to report Piazza’s bad behavior during his time in Stanton.

Piazza faces up to 20 years in federal prison, at least three years of supervised release and up to a $1 million fine. He previously surrendered his license to prescribe controlled substances.