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Records at doctor's office eyed

Authorities target site in Needham

NEEDHAM -- Federal and state law enforcement officials armed with a search warrant searched the office of a Needham doctor yesterday, but gave few details why.

The US Drug Enforcement Administration, along with seven other agencies, executed a search warrant at the Gould Street office of Dr. Joseph Zolot, said DEA spokesman Anthony Pettigrew.

He said officers were involved in an operation on the property, but he would not say what types of documents and items officers seized.One law enforcement official, however, said investigators looked at dozens of boxes of patient records as part of an extensive investigation.

A truck was called to the scene to transport records and other evidence being sought as part of the search, he said.

Zolot could not be reached for comment yesterday. A sign at his office describes his practice as nonsurgical orthopedics.

On his profile posted by the state agency that licenses doctors, Zolot lists a specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation. He attended medical school in Leningrad and trained in that city before completing his training at MetroWest Medical Center in Framingham and the former Boston University Medical Center Hospital.

Zolot has not been disciplined by the agency, the Board of Registration in Medicine, in the past 10 years, according to the profile.

Larry Rothschild, an owner of the building, said he arrived for a meeting at 10 a.m. and saw officers searching the doctor's office. He said that Zolot, who has rented the office for a year and a half, has been a good tenant, but that several other tenants have complained about his patients smoking near the entrance and wandering into their offices looking for the doctor.

Two employees of the Sullivan-Schein dental practice, located in the same building, said they had to increase security at their office after Zolot moved into the building, because people they believed to be his patients would wander into their office.

On one occasion, said Jeanne Hipke, an administrative assistant in the dental office, two men knocked on the door. "We've got to get inside the building; we left our pills there," she said they told her.

Hipke turned them away, telling them that they couldn't get into the orthopedic practice via the dental office.

Another time, Hipke said , she turned away a man who was banging on the dental office door asking for Zolot.

Shelley Murphy of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Liz Kowalczyk can be reached at