A Springdale doctor is accepting patients whose physician was arrested in an embezzlement case after claiming to be in the Mafia.
However, Dr. Carlos Rodriguez said his offer to help patients doesn't mean he's associated with the activities Dr. Ruben Tejada is accused of -- and doesn't mean he is in the Mafia..
Rodriguez works for Northwest Health System, and when Tejada was jailed last week (Oct. 31), the hospital placed a note on Tejada's clinic door providing contact information for Rodriguez and other doctors.
"So people, when they come to make an appointment with Dr. Tejada, the letter is there so they can see they can come make an appointment with this other doctor who also speaks Spanish," Rodriguez said.
Most of Tejada's patients spoke Spanish as a primary language, said Rodriguez, who attended medical school in the South American country of Colombia.
Rodriguez said a newscast showing the notice prompted phone calls from patients asking if he was involved in crimes. Officials from Northwest Health System refused to go camera to explain Tejada's connections to the hospital.
"I don't have anything to do with Dr. Tejada's business. I don't have anything to do with the Mafia," Rodriguez said. "I just work for Northwest (Health System). I'm here to take care of the patients."
Rodriguez has been a physician since 2001. He's been with Northwest Health System for two months at the clinic on Orchard Street in Springdale.