Rep. Tricia Derges resigned from the Missouri House of Representatives on Friday, days after a jury found her guilty of 22 federal charges†
Republican Nixa was convicted on charges of wire fraud, illegal distribution of controlled substances and making false statements to federal investigators in the conclusion of her trial last week. In a letter to Chairman Rob Vescovo, she resigned from representing Christian County.
“For years it has been a humble honor for me to serve the Lord by providing medical care to thousands of forgotten citizens in SW Missouri: the homeless, our veterans, the impoverished and the uninsured,” wrote Derges. “Care that helped alleviate the unspeakable pain many people lived in, help save lives from uncontrolled chronic disease, heal wounds and save limbs from amputation. The most rewarding work I’ve ever done.”
Derges, who rose to prominence in southwestern Missouri for her establishment and operation of several medical clinics, appeared fraudulently obtained federal aid money for her nonprofit cliniclied to patients about “stem cell” treatments that contain no stem cells and mixed money between the nonprofit, Lift Up Springfield, and its Ozark Valley Medical Clinic locations†
Her sentencing will be determined in the coming months; the jury also voted to allow the government to keep $300,000 in CARES Act money she received for her clinic’s COVID-19 tests that had already been reimbursed.
First elected in 2020, Derges continued to push for an expansion of the Missouri Assistant Physician program. She was a licensed assistant physician herself and wanted to give them permission to get licensed, expand the medical field, and alleviate labor shortages in the field.
In her letter of resignation, she called the lack of access to licenses for assistant doctors a “tragedy” and urged further legislation on the program.
“Missouri pioneered this phenomenal healthcare solution,” Derges wrote. “I pray that the value of this program will one day be welcomed and appreciated. These valuable doctors are a resource we cannot afford to lose.”
During the last legislature, Derges introduced a bill to allow assistant doctors access to licenses. But it went nowhere – Derges’ federal indictment was revealed in early 2021 and she was quickly stripped of much of her power in Jefferson City. She was expelled from Republican House caucus meetings, stripped of her committee duties, and reassigned to a broom closet-sized office in the Capitol. Meanwhile, other lawmakers have: sought to tighten the requirements to obtain a license as a doctor†
Her resignation means she won’t be in Jefferson City for a while special session focused on taxes and the veto session later this year. She will be sentenced in the coming months.
She was barred from running for re-election as a Republican and, after being convicted, will not run for election under Missouri law. Two Republicans, Jamie Ray Gragg and Danny Garrison, and a Democrat, Amy Freeland, will compete for her seat this fall.
This article originally appeared on Springfield News-Leader: Tricia Derges Resigns From Missouri House After Federal Sentencing