GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Friday morning in Gainesville, the Florida Board of Dentistry unanimously voted to accept the surrender of the license of a Jacksonville pediatric dentist who's under investigation for claims of mistreating and even abusing children at his practice.
Dr. Howard S. Schneider last week closed his practice and offered to voluntarily give up his license.
News4Jax has covered this story for weeks since phone calls and emails began flooding the newsroom from angry parents telling their stories of what their children who were treated by Schneider went through.
The Jacksonville case has now gained national attention.
The firestorm started when Brandi Motley wrote about the day she took her 6-year-old daughter, Brielle, to Schneider to have one tooth pulled. She said instead, Brielle had many teeth pulled and was strapped down and held down by employees during her care.
Schneider's office, off University Boulevard on the Southside, has been closed for more than a week.
"With any story you have many sides, and we want to consider everything, but the most important thing is the safety of those unprotected, mostly children," said Dr. Bill Kochenour, chair of the Florida Board of Dentists.
Motley said she was pleased to hear Schneider will never practice again, but she said she doesn't want it to end there.
"I feel like there could have been more done, something held to his license," Motley said. "I feel like it was a slap to the wrist, and he's thinking he's getting away with it again, like he has all these years, and that's painful to know."
JSO is investigating the abuse allegations, and the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Unit is looking into Schneider's billing practices.
Schneider has denied several requests for an interview during the controversy, but he may have to speak if lawsuits filed against him end up in court.
"It starts from strapping down every kid in a restraint device to faulty anesthetic to pulling too many teeth, doing too many procedures, all the way through the verbal abuse and physical abuse, and that's stuff both civil and criminal courts can look at," Motley's attorney, John Phillips, said.
Motley said her daughter has become afraid to talk about what happened to her.
"I want him charged for what he did," Motley said. "I want some kind of jail time."
Schneider has maintained his innocence and has retained his own lawyer. He was not at Friday morning's meeting of the Board of Dentistry.