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Chief Medical Officer Hasn’t Held License Since 1999

Stethoscope (Photo Illustration by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

Stethoscope (Photo Illustration by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (CBS) A top doctor who recently left a suburban hospital hasn’t held a medical license in over a decade.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports, Dr. Leighton Smith was chief medical officer and vice president of medical affairs at Northwest Community Healthcare in Arlington Heights for almost eight years.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports

But according to Illinois state records, his medical license expired in 1999, Crain’s Chicago Business reported.

But that was not the reason that he left his post at the hospital this month – a post that paid him $785,000 in 2010, according to Crain’s.

The publication quotes a hospital spokeswoman as saying executives knew Smith didn’t have a license when they hired him.

An active medical license is not actually required for a chief medical officer, as doctors in such positions do not see patients, Crain’s reported.

A malpractice attorney tells Crain’s that having an unlicensed chief medical officer could hurt the hospital in lawsuits.

Smith received his medical degree from the University of Saskatchewan. He previously worked as senior administrator at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, Crain’s reported.