Cape Girardeau doctor in trouble with the law a second time

Cape Girardeau doctor in trouble with the law a second time
By: CJ Cassidy
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - We have new details in the arrest of a prominent Cape Girardeau physician. Dr. Reno Cova faces charges after agents found powdered cocaine, crack cocaine and a smoking pipe at his home. He's currently in jail on $75,000 cash bond.
It turns out, this isn't the first time Dr. Cova's been on the wrong side of the law. According to court documents, Cova was convicted 23 years ago for dealing sedatives and painkillers. He spent six months in confinement, and was then on probation for two and a half years.
Even though Reno Cova's practice remains open for business, some patients say they're thinking twice about going in.
Cape Girardeau County Prosecutor Morley Swingle says, "He had been convicted in the 1980s of apparently distributing drugs. It's mind boggling as to why somebody with a conviction for drug dealing is a doctor."
One doctor tells me the Missouri Division of Professional Registration can suspend or revoke a physician's license if they're found guilty of wrong doing, but the doctor can always re-apply for a license, depending on the charges against him.
Inside Cova's clinic, a sign informs patients a nurse practitioner will treat them in the doctor's absence. One employee who did not wish to be identified tells me she's not surprised about the arrest. In her words, "it's a walk in clinic, and you hear of patients coming in for all kinds of pills."
Police reports refer to comments from people who claim "if you go to Dr. Cova you can get a prescription even if you're not sick." Other statements point out a regular appointment with Dr. Cova costs $75 but an appointment to get pills costs $125. "it bothers me that you might go to him and he might be on drugs,' Poe says.
So, why then, do patients like Poe keep coming back? "I can't find anyone else doing pain management who takes medicare. I'm on a fixed income and we have to do what we have to do," he says. Still other patients say Dr. Cova's personal problems are simply that - his personal business.