AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas doctor convicted in the death of pop superstar Michael Jackson is suing the state for stripping his right to practice medicine, and his attorney said Thursday that the cardiologist has former patients eager for him to work again.
Conrad Murray, who was released from a California jail this week after serving less than two years for involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death, accuses the Texas Medical Board of prematurely revoking his license. Murray claims in his lawsuit filed in Austin that his 2011 conviction isn’t final in California until his appeals are exhausted.
Murray states in an affidavit that he’s more than $400,000 in debt and can’t afford to pay court costs.
“Anybody who wants to work in this country ought to be able to have the right to do so. Dr. Murray is like everyone else, in that he needs to be able to do his line of work,” said Charles Peckham, Murray’s attorney.
Texas Medical Board spokesman Jarrett Schneider said the agency cannot comment on pending litigation.
Murray was convicted of causing Jackson’s death in June 2009 by providing him with the powerful anesthetic propofol as a sleep aid. Jackson was in the midst of preparations for a series of comeback concerts and Murray was serving as his physician.
Murray filed the lawsuit Friday, three days before he was freed after serving half of a maximum four-year sentence.
Murray previously maintained clinics in Houston and Las Vegas. His medical license is currently suspended in California.
In court papers filed in Texas, Murray expresses concern that the revocation of his Texas license could give California reason to take the same action.
“The Texas Medical Board, in taking my license puts me in imminent harm of irreparable injury,” Murray said in court papers.
Brian Panish, an attorney for the Jackson family, has said Murray should not have “a chance to hurt anyone else” by practicing medicine.