Local News

Hospital Director Stays on Job Despite Criminal Record

Posted August 8, 2007 9:13 p.m. EDT

— The state health department decided to keep the acting director of Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro on the job, despite his criminal record.

Dr. Robert Owens was suspended in late July after it was discovered he had a felony conviction for inappropriately touching a 9-year-old girl.

The North Carolina Medical retained Owens in part because he has maintained a clean record since joining the Cherry Hospital staff in 1993, officials said.

Critics said that Owens was hired by Cherry Hospital two years before his medical license was cleared.

Owens pleaded guilty taking indecent liberties with a child in Burke County in January 1989. The state board did not fully reinstate him to practice medicine again until July 1995, officials said.