Montana Public Radio news director Eric Whitney interviewed me at length Tuesday about my recent report on the suspended state doctor accused of illegal drug use.

Last week the Montana Board of Medical Examiners suspended the medical license of Dr. Mark Jay Catalanello for the second time after he allegedly violated the terms of a chemical dependency treatment contract. Catalanello has worked as a full-time physician at the Montana State Hospital in Warm Spring since 2007 and was the medical director at the Montana Chemical Dependency Center in Butte since 2012. His total base salary for both jobs is $280,000, according to a report in the Montana Standard.

You can listen to my interview with Whitney on MTPR’s website:

While reporting the story Whitney uncovered an interesting nugget of information regarding Dr. Catalanello, who last week was suspended from practicing medicine by the Montana Board of Medical Examiners. According to this document, Catalanello served on the board of the Montana Professional Assistance Program in 2013.

Catalanello’s suspension follows a Sept. 29 emergency meeting of a Montana Board of Medical Examiners screening panel in which Catalanello reportedly refused to participate. The panel found that Catalanello’s conduct posed an “immediate risk” to the public requiring immediate suspension.

Details on Catalanello’s most recent suspension can be found here:

Oct. 2015 suspension

I’ve placed calls and sent multiple emails to the Montana Department of Health and Human Services, the state agency that hired Catalanello for both jobs. So far an agency spokesman has not responded to my request for a interview.

Montana Free Press was founded by veteran award-winning investigative and political reporter John S. Adams. John was formerly the Capital Bureau Chief of the Great Falls Tribune and a correspondent for USA TODAY. John is known as a dogged investigator and the host of the MT Lowdown podcast whose unbiased reporting has changed the shape of Montana politics. Contact John at, or follow him on Twitter.