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DENVER - Former patients and a state legislator search for justice after they say a chiropractor facing serious charges against his license is given what amounts to a slap on the wrist. Those patients say it is a slap in the face by the agencies charged with protecting them.
It is the news they had been waiting to hear for more than a year.
"He got off all of this?" asked Cheri Carey.
But it is not what they were expecting.
"I am angered, and I feel betrayed. Here, they are supposed to protect us, and they did nothing," said Jen Chestnut.
Both women are former patients of Denver Chiropractor Brandon Credeur.
They are two of the more than 200 people who contacted The CALL7 Investigators with concerns and complaints about Credeur, his wife, Heather, and other chiropractors in their practice.
After a series of reports by CALL7 Investigator Theresa Marchetta and complaints filed by former patients, Colorado's Chiropractic Board brought a Notice of Charges against Credeur. The Board's authority falls under the Department of Regulatory Agencies, or DORA, which maintains records for doctors and physicians, among other professions.
The Colorado Attorney General's office acted as the attorneys for DORA and the Chiropractic Board. They drafted the Notice of Charges, detailing 25 counts against Credeur's chiropractic license including; negligent chiropractic practice, false or misleading advertising and unethical advertising associated with his Functional Endocrinology Center.
The hearing took place in a small administrative court room in downtown Denver in June. The judge's only power, to recommend to the Chiropractic Board what action, if any, to take.
The CALL7 Investigators were in the courtroom for much of the hearing, counting only three former patients called by the Attorney General's office to give testimony.
The hearing ended early in less than two weeks with a settlement agreement. Credeur admits to nothing, keeps his license and agrees to keep better records.
Credeur would not sit down for an interview, but said in a video posted on YouTube, "We've been exonerated and vindicated. That's the good news."
The CALL7 Investigators invited those who had contacted them to a group interview to hear the results.
Most had not received any information on the outcome from the Attorney General's office or DORA, even those who provided their written and verbal testimony.
"I just don't understand where the justice is coming from," said Carey, one of 50 people who came to the 7NEWS studios.
They said they were blindsided by the lack of consequences, furious and frustrated.
"We're here. We're telling them. We are warning them," said Carey.
Carey says she went to Credeur for thyroid help but had no idea Credeur was a chiropractor. She says she paid more than $8,000 and followed the diet and vitamin program. Carey says she felt worse and that the treatment resulted in months of diarrhea.
"My testimony took nearly 3 hours. It was grueling. It took a lot out of me. Still takes a lot out of me," said former patient Sandy Drapier.
Drapier has Multiple Sclerosis and says when she signed up and paid up front for Credeur's program, she was told there was a neurologist on staff.
"I thought this was a slam-dunk," said former patient Dave Straus.
He says he also spent more than $8,000 on bags of supplements and a program he says caused his blood sugar to spike.
"All the AG and DORA's office have to see is the video," said Straus.
He is referring to videos uncovered by the CALL7 Investigators of Credeur instructing other chiropractors on how to cash in on the functional medicine trend.
"Thousands and thousands of dollars were spent by every one of us and he has the right to stay in business?" said Carey.
Senate Minority Leader John Morse also questions the state regulators’ decision.
"These people were sick people that relied on someone to help them that didn't have the ability to help them. That ought to be against the law in Colorado in my view," said Senate Minority Leader John Morse.
Morse was as baffled at the outcome of Credeur's hearing as the patients who trusted state regulators to protect them.
"Maybe we should not be funding the Board of Chiropractic. I mean if this is what they do, it's a waste of the tax payer’s money to heck with it," said Morse.
In response to the original CALL7 Investigation into Credeur's business practices, Morse drafted legislation to better protect patients by, among other things, eliminating large, upfront fees. He plans to rework the bill for the upcoming session.
Morse believes the result of Credeur's licensing hearing points to even bigger flaws in the system.
"This is very shoddy work on the part of a regulatory agency and on the part of the AG," said Morse.
Former patients say they are not sure what options they have left.
"Somebody needs to regulate DORA and the AG's office because they are not doing what they need to do," said former patient Nelda Jones.
Several of the patients who reached out to the CALL7 Investigators saw Heather Credeur, the co-owner of the Functional Endocrinology Center.
Her license was also at risk, and a hearing in Administrative Court was set for next summer.
Heather Credeur signed a Stipulation Agreement identical to the one her husband signed, negating the scheduled hearing.
Both the AG's office and DORA have refused initial requests to sit down for an on camera interview to discuss the outcome of the case.
Several patients are pursuing civil suits against Credeur.
People can still file complaints with DORA and the Attorney General's Office. The agencies tell the CALL7 Investigators they only respond to complaints filed, not to phone calls or stories broadcast by news media.