Spencer Leaves Jail, Headed for Community Service

William “Doc” Spencer, whose political and medical career was halted in 2020 in a spectacular fall from grace, has been released from the Suffolk County jail where he was serving a sentence after pleading guilty to a felony charge of tampering with public records and a misdemeanor charge of patronizing a prostitute.

On Tuesday, the day Spencer was  released, Newsday published a lengthy story recounting Spencer’s case, and reported several new elements, many linked to the cellphone found with the sex worker, who, unbeknownst to Spencer at the time of his arrest, had died a month earlier of a fentanyl overdose.

Spencer was arrested in October 2020, with the then-District Attorney Tim Sini saying that the pediatric otolaryngologist had gone to a parking lot behind the Goodwill building in Elwood to meet with the sex worker who he had known for years, planning to trade two oxycodone pills for sex. Instead of finding her, he was met by police and agents who had found him through her cellphone, and arrested him. He was found with the oxycodone pills, condoms, lubricant and had a gun in the car, police said at the time.

The day after Spencer’s arrest, Sini hinted strongly at a press conference that more charges were to follow but Sini’s office said little else about the case, and a year later, he was defeated for re-election.

Despite his arrest, Spencer remained a member of the Suffolk County Legislature, representing the 18th District, for more than a year, though he gave up his position as Democratic majority leader.

Tuesday’s blockbuster  story also said that his decision to remain in the legislature allowed him to accrue enough credit to make him eligible for lifetime medical benefits and a pension.

It also quoted a DEA agent who said that the doctor had patronized more than 150 sex workers. The report said that if Spencer complied with requirements, including six months of probation and doing 420 hours of community service, his felony plea could be vacated, and he could be eligible to apply for the reinstatement of his medical license, though he couldn’t prescribe drugs.

The felony charge of tampering with records with public records grew out of Spencer’s complaint three months before his arrest that someone purporting to be a pimp was attempting to extort him; in that complaint, Newsday reported, Spencer  said “I have not sought the services of prostitutes or call girls.”

Tracey Edwards, former Huntington Town Board member and Long Island regional director of the NAACP, and two ministers met with Sini, Newsday said, to ensure that Spencer was being treated fairly.

Newsday reported, “Edwards said she felt Sini was usurping the role of the state Professional Medical Conduct Board, which disciplines doctors, because Sini wanted Spencer to surrender his medical license as part of a plea agreement. ‘I felt he was going beyond’ his role as district attorney.” She was speaking as a community leader, Newsday said.

Leave a Reply