Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa pain clinic doctor who was accused of trafficking in oxycodone is found dead

A doctor accused of overprescribing pain medication at her Tampa clinic has died, her attorney said.

Dr. Kimberly Daffern, who would have been 45 next month, died Saturday in Volusia County, where she was still practicing medicine, said attorney Chip Purcell. He did not speculate on the cause of death, saying he was awaiting results from the autopsy.

"It was not suspicious," Purcell said. "There's no indication one way or another that it's drug-related." The Volusia County medical examiner did not return calls for comment.

Daffern was arrested in December 2010 along with other employees of First Medical Group, 2314 N Dale Mabry Highway. She faced charges of racketeering, trafficking in a controlled substance and conspiracy to traffic in a controlled substance.

"She always vehemently asserted her innocence in this case," Purcell said.

Daffern is the second Tampa Bay area physician accused of drug trafficking to die recently. Dr. Blake D. Barton, 50, who ran a practice in St. Pete Beach, was found dead of an apparent overdose at his Tampa home June 29.

Daffern, whose maiden name was Whittington, earned bachelor's degrees at West Point and Ohio State University. In 1998, she graduated with a medical degree from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, a military school in Maryland, state records show.

In the Army she interned at Fort Gordon in Georgia and completed a residency in 2002 at Madigan Army Medical Center in Washington.

Four years later, Daffern and her husband bought a home in Valrico. She completed a residency in occupational medicine at the University of South Florida and in spring 2010 went to First Medical Group, a little clinic in a strip mall near Raymond James Stadium.

In July 2010, police raided the clinic and its employees became the target of a pill mill investigation. According to the arrest warrant affidavit, of 5,790 patients who saw Daffern, 99 percent left with prescriptions for oxycodone. During a three-month period of the investigation, Daffern authorized a little more than 1 million oxycodone pills, police said.

Purcell said Daffern passed a federal lie detector test.

"I'm very sad," he said. "She was not guilty. She passed the FBI polygraph. They prosecuted anyway."

Emily Nipps can be reached at or (727) 893-8452.

Tampa pain clinic doctor who was accused of trafficking in oxycodone is found dead 08/11/11 [Last modified: Thursday, August 11, 2011 11:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. President Trump offers prayers for Kissimmee police


    President Donald Trump reacted to the police shooting in Kissimmee:

  2. Kissimmee police officer dies, one gravely wounded; Jacksonville officers shot


    KISSIMMEE — A Kissimmee police officer died and a second was gravely wounded Friday night, police Chief Jeff O'Dell said.

    Two police officers have been shot and killed in Kissimmee, authorities say. The shooting happened in the area of Palmway and Cypress around 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18, 2017. Photo courtesy of
  3. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Seattle Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso (10) scores on the double by Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  4. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming


    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  5. Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day


    TAMPA — Ever wonder what in the world goes through Jameis Winston's mind when he tries to fit the ball in a keyhole as he is being dragged to the turf like he was during Thursday night's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars?

    Jameis Winston, left, tries to hang on to the ball as Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler tries to strip it from him.