Tom Madden (46), originally from Hancock County and a 1994 graduate of HCHS, is an attorney in Mount Sterling, Ohio, and is currently a Hearing Examiner for the State Medical Board of Ohio.
“I’ve always been interested in what Dad (Paul Madden, Sr.) did,” he said. “I knew, fairly early, that I wanted to be an attorney.”
Tom earned a degree in history, a passion of his, at Bellarmine University in 1998, and graduated from University of Kentucky College of Law in 2001. He passed the Bar Exam, and came back to Hancock County to practice for 2 or 3 years with his dad and brother, Paul Madden, Jr., at Madden & Madden, in Hawesville.
“I met my wife in law school,” Tom said. “She’s from Ohio. We lived here (in the county) for a couple of years, then we moved back to Ohio – Central Ohio, just south of Columbus. I was, at first, an assistant prosecutor. I worked at a local prosecutor’s office for about 6 months. I did a lot of juvenile cases and stuff like that. I got a job at the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, and worked there for, roughly, 15 years.
A couple of years ago, I left that office and went to the Ohio Medical Board, and now I’m a hearing officer there. What I do is, when doctors get cited by the board, I hear their cases and make a report and recommendation. The board considers everything from the hearing, and determines how to handle a particular case against a doctor. I’ve been doing that for a year and a half.
A lot of the cases we do for the medical board, are if the doctor gets convicted of a crime, if they act inappropriately towards staff or patients. Some of the cases are medical issues, negligence and stuff like that. What they call ‘standard care cases.’ In those cases there are experts for the state and experts for the respondents, the doctors. I’ll hear that testimony and then make a decision based on those experts. My decision, my report and recommendation, is reviewed by the medical board, [made up of] doctors from across the state. There are a few non doctors, but most of the members are doctors and they’re different types of doctors.”
The board reviews the evidence, looks at the medical testimony and then makes their decision. They can either reject or accept Tom’s report and recommendation. “They are the ultimate deciders,” he said. “My job is just to make it easier for them. It’s not uncommon for the board to modify the sanction that comes from the report and recommendation.”
He said the worst that can happen to a doctor is permanent revocation of their license. “That’s something the board looks at harshly,” he said. “We see cases where there’s a problem in this country with opioids. And so, you see a lot where the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the DEA are really coming down on the over prescription of opioids. If doctors are overprescribing opioids with little justification or no justification, then the board takes that very seriously.”
At the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, he started out representing different regulatory boards and then did habeas corpus for the majority of his time there. “After a person is convicted of a crime and does their state appeals,” he said, “they’re entitled to do their habeas corpus appeals in federal court, based on federal claims. I did that on behalf of the state and got an opportunity, through that job, to argue several times before the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th circuit in Cincinnati, which covers Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.”
While working at the AG’s Office, he had a case that went to the Kentucky Supreme Court. Tom had a license to practice in KY, and was asked on to the case, he said. A company based in KY was doing business throughout the country, and the state of Ohio assessed the CAT (Commercial Activity Tax) tax against them and they sued the director of the tax department in state court in Green County.
He said it was an “interesting” case. The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) said, essentially, that states didn’t have to recognize other states’ assertions of sovereign immunity. “We raised the defense of immunity. That case had been questioned over the years,” he said, “and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office had argued that, based on some recent decisions from SCOTUS, that KY must recognize sovereign immunity, but even if they didn’t have to, that they should in this case.
The KY Supreme Court took the case and, in the mean time, SCOTUS had reversed its previous decision. They had accepted review of the case, but there were no oral arguments. The KY Supreme Court ruled in Ohio’s favor and recognized their sovereign immunity.”
Several years ago, Tom wrote a couple of briefs in criminal cases and took part with other attorneys in filing amicus briefs in the Ohio Supreme Court. Amicus briefs are often referred to as amicus curiae, Latin for “friend of the court,” and are common in appellate state and federal appellate courts, and in the U.S. Supreme Courts.
“About 4 years ago,” he said, “I started representing the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction (ODRC), serving corrections and representing a lot of officers who were sued by inmates. I had the opportunity to try some cases in federal court on behalf of the department. Then, I took this latest job with the medical board and so far I enjoy that.”
He said starting a private practice is something he has considered doing in the future. “I’ve got 4 boys right now. They’re spread over several years,” Tom said. “I’ve always kind of enjoyed working for the government. There’s no business aspect that you get with private practice; you get to focus on legal issues.”
Tom and his wife, Kathleen, have 4 sons, ages 6-14. Kathleen was appointed by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine in 2021 as Director of the Ohio Department of Administrative Services. She was previously Chief of Staff for the Ohio Department of Health.
By Jennifer Wimmer