Doctor accused of Bryant ties

A world-renowned headache expert is said to have benefited with job, bonuses.

Posted: March 30, 2007

R. Michael Gallagher was a world-renowned expert on headaches who had his eye on a leadership job at UMDNJ's School of Osteopathic Medicine when he became professionally entangled with Sen. Wayne Bryant.

Federal prosecutors say Gallagher hoped the state senator could help him advance his career. Bryant, the indictment says, sold his influence to enhance his pension. Both men now face a flurry of federal charges.

A federal indictment accuses Gallagher of lavishly spending money at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and of doctoring the books to ensure himself an annual bonus.

The osteopathic doctor has a 40-page resumé of professional accomplishment and a taste for $50-a-glass Glenlivet. At a time when UMDNJ was laying off staff, Gallagher billed the university for $40,600 in meals at Tavistock Country Club, $18,255 at Cafe Aldo Lamberti in Cherry Hill, and more than $30,000 at the Union League on South Broad Street in Philadelphia, according to a federal monitor appointed by the U.S. attorney to investigate UMDNJ's spending.

Gallagher, 59, lives in Haddonfield. His salary and bonuses ranged from $345,000 to $402,000 a year during the three years he headed the university's Stratford campus.

He went from being vice dean, to interim dean, to - in 2002 - permanent dean. His career there was halted in April 2006 when the federal monitor found "financial irregularities and mismanagement" at UMDNJ and Gallagher lost his executive job.

Before that, he was held in esteem by colleagues.

In recommending him as interim dean, then-UMDNJ president Stuart Cook described Gallagher as "a prominent national figure in osteopathic medical education" with impeccable credentials.

Gallagher's resumé lists him as president of the National Board of Certification in Headache Management since 1996 and former chief of aerospace medicine in the Air Force. He was involved in more than 50 grants, mostly in the area of headache pain.

He has written approximately 100 articles, book chapters or abstracts related to headache pain.

The indictment says Gallagher's ambitions got the best of him.

When the university began to experience "financial strain," Gallagher leaned on Bryant for help.

He created a job for Bryant and rigged the hiring process to eliminate other candidates, the indictment says. Bryant's actions, according to the indictment, helped Gallagher meet goals that resulted in incentive bonuses of $42,000 in 2003 and almost $57,000 in 2004.

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