Former Democratic state House candidate Elizabeth McCarthy confessed to a state investigator that she lied about being a medical doctor and about treating victims of the 2016 Pulse massacre in Orlando.
That’s according to documents released by the Florida Department of Health on Wednesday.
The department is charging McCarthy with violating state law by lying about being a doctor, under the state’s unlicensed activity statutes.
It’s seeking to fine her $1,000, plus costs. The department also is serving her with a cease-and-desist order, prohibiting her from telling anyone else that she is a medical doctor, according to documents provided to Florida Politics following a public records request.
The formal investigation of McCarthy began after Florida Politics reported on June 15 that it could not confirm any of her claims to be a doctor, or that she had been one of the medical heroes responding to the horrific June 12, 2016, mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, where 49 people were killed and 53 others were wounded.
McCarthy, 50, of Sanford, was running for the Florida House of Representatives in District 28, which covers much of northeastern Seminole County.
She had made the claims, of being a doctor who had saved lives following Pulse, during two events organized by Democratic U.S. Rep. Darren Soto and on other occasions. When questioned by Florida Politics on June 15, she insisted they were true.
The Department of Health launched an investigation after being alerted to Florida Politics’ reporting.
DoH Medical Quality Assurance Investigator Rafael B. Aponte questioned McCarthy, whose full legal name is Catherine Elizabeth McCarthy, on July 9. He filed his report and the cease-and-desist order on Wednesday. McCarthy could not be reached Wednesday to comment.