Democratic Florida House candidate admits to lying about being a doctor after dropping out of race

Democratic Florida House candidate admits to lying about being a doctor after dropping out of race
© Artisteer/iStock/Thinkstock

A former Democratic candidate who dropped out of a Florida state House race last month has admitted to lying about being a doctor who treated victims of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, according to multiple local reports.

“I lied,” Elizabeth McCarthy, 50, told state investigators, Florida Politics reported, citing documents released by the state Department of Health this week. “It is a false statement. I just made it up,” she added.

"I’m sorry that I gave any impersonation. I knew it was wrong and I should have stopped — by no means did I ever mean to put anybody in jeopardy,” Florida Politics reported her saying, citing an affidavit.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Florida Department of Health is charging McCarthy with violating state law by lying about being a doctor, the outlet reported. She has reportedly been fined $3,094.95 for misrepresenting herself as a medical professional and is barred from telling anyone else that she is a doctor.

Florida Politics, which was unable to reach McCarthy for comment, noted that she has a month to dispute the investigation's findings and could seek a hearing if she wanted.

McCarthy, who is openly gay, claimed at a March town hall while campaigning that she was a medical doctor at Orlando Regional Medical Center and removed scores of bullets from dozens of victims of the Pulse shooting.

“It was one of hardest things to work through in my career,” she says in a video posted on U.S. Rep. Darren SotoDarren Michael SotoHouse passes temporary immigration protections for Venezuelans House fails to pass temporary immigration protections for Venezuelans Former state House candidate says she made up story about removing 77 bullets from Pulse shooting victims MORE’s (D-Fla.) Facebook page. “That night of Pulse, I personally removed 77 bullets from 32 victims. ... It was like an assembly line.”

She continued, “That night, because I’m gay, it struck me even harder because these were my people. ... The hardest part for me was wheeling a body into the morgue and hearing the cell phones ring of the people that passed.”

The Florida Department of Health investigated her claims and found McCarthy has never been issued a medical license of any kind by the state agency.

Officials from the parent company of the medical center — which treated almost all of the Pulse victims — had no records of McCarthy working there as an emergency room physician, local media outlets reported.

After receiving backlash for her lie, McCarthy wrote in a since-deleted Facebook post that she was “truly sorry” but that she was not shutting down her campaign and was “moving forward,” Florida Politics reported.

On June 28, McCarthy announced she was dropping out of the race, Florida Politics reported. She had filed in March to run for the District 28 seat next year.