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. Rowdies shut out at Pittsburgh


    PITTSBURGH — The Rowdies lost their first USL game in nearly a month, 1-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

  2. Trump reveals that he didn't record Comey after all


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump declared Thursday he never made and doesn't have recordings of his private conversations with ousted former FBI director James Comey, ending a monthlong guessing game that he started with a cryptic tweet and that ensnared his administration in yet more controversy.

    President Donald Trump said Thursday that he didn’t record his conversations with James Comey.
  3. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Investigation Discovery TV show profiles 2011 Landy Martinez murder case


    The murder of a St. Petersburg man will be featured this week on a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery.

    Jose Adame sits in a Pinellas County courtroom during his 2016 trial and conviction for first-degree murder. Adame was convicted of first-degree murder last year for torturing and then executing his boyfriend as he pleaded for his life in 2011. Now it will be featured in a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery. The episode will air on June 26 at 9 p.m. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  5. Uhuru mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel protests exclusion from debate


    ST. PETERSBURG — Jesse Nevel, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement candidate for mayor, on Thursday demanded that he be allowed to participate in a July 25 televised debate between incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and challenger Rick Baker.

    Mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel holds a news conference outside the headquarters of the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday to protest his exclusion from the mayoral debate. Nevel is a member of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.