It has been a hot minute since I provided readers with an update on the “Blonde Doc” saga – one of the craziest stories this news outlet has ever covered.
For those of you new to our coverage, the “Blonde Doc” is former Midlands, South Carolina physician Kim Hawkes. Shortly before Christmas, Hawkes caused a social media stir when she publicly accused her estranged husband John Hawkes – a deputy with the Richland County sheriff’s department – of domestic abuse.
This wasn’t the only inquiry tied to this mess, though …
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) continues to investigate Kim Hawkes in her capacity as a former physician. As part of SCDHEC’s inquiry, Hawkes acknowledged some questionable conduct in a voluntary statement (.jpg) to investigators last November.
Specifically, she admitted accepting “prescription medication from patients” and “violating HIPPA (sic) without realizing it” – referring to confidentiality provisions contained in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (a.k.a. HIPAA).
In acknowledging her conduct, Hawkes noted she needed to set “much stronger boundaries with all of my patients.”
“(I) cannot allow friendships to get in the way,” she wrote. “Emotions get involved, and things get really messy really quickly.”
Within a month of Hawkes providing this statement to SCDHEC, Lexington Medical Center notified patients of her resignation. Also, Kim Hawkes and Lexington Medical Center are currently the focus of at least one lawsuit related to her alleged misconduct.
Meanwhile, allegations have been made against other physicians in the Blonde Doc’s orbit …
Earlier this year, my news outlet obtained documents indicating the S.C. Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation (SCLLR) had received a complaint against Leslie K. West – a doctor who worked alongside Kim Hawkes at the same Lexington Medical Center family practice.
SCLLR acknowledged receiving the complaint against West in early December 2021 and assigning it to an investigator.
What sort of “boundary” issues did Kim Hawkes have with her patients? Well, our longtime readers are intimately familiar with allegations leveled against her by a former female paramour, Whitney Boltinhouse Baxley of Lexington, S.C.
“She used and abused me mentally, emotionally, financially, sexually,” Baxley said during an exclusive interview with me earlier this year.
Baxley sued Lexington Medical Center for damages earlier this year. She is represented by Eric Bland of the Columbia, S.C.-based Bland Richter law firm. The case is headed to mediation, sources familiar with the situation told this news outlet.
The last time I checked in on this case, Hawkes and her new boyfriend – former Lexington, S.C. police officer Brandon Hassler – were holed up in a home in Missoula, Montana.
Hawkes’ is now referring to herself as Kim Hassler – and Brandon Hassler is referring to her as his wife.
According to my sources, the couple made a dramatic return to South Carolina last week – appearing at the Colonial Life Arena in downtown Columbia last Saturday afternoon (June 4, 2022) for Gilbert High School’s graduation ceremony.
Kim Hawkes’ twin sons from a previous marriage graduated from Gilbert last week, and her appearance at the ceremony reportedly caused quite a stir.
“They came back for the twins graduation and made a sh*t show,” a source familiar with the situation told me, referencing a police report Brandon Hassler is said to have filed in connection with the disturbance.
This news outlet has made requests of several law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction in the area of the Colonial Center and as of this writing have been unable to confirm the existence of a police report.
In the meantime, the Hawkes’ former marital home – a six-bedroom, six-and-a-half bathroom mansion located in Lexington, S.C. – recently came on the market.
Interested in the digs? Take a look …
(Click to view)
The 5,040-square foot home is listing for $1.3 million, in case you have that kind of coin laying around …
Count on this news outlet to keep readers up to speed on the latest developments in the SCDHEC investigation into the Blonde Doc saga – as well as the latest developments in connection with Baxley’s lawsuit against Lexington Medical Center.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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