Gov. Deal asks Kool Smiles chief to quit dentistry oversight board

A state dentistry board member whose company has been accused of performing painful, unnecessary dental work on children as part of a Medicaid fraud scheme has resigned.

Gov. Nathan Deal asked Dale G. Mayfield, chief dental officer for Marietta-based Kool Smiles, to step down on Tuesday amid questions from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about his position on the Georgia Board of Dentistry.

“Given the distractions that might be caused,” Mayfield said in a written statement Tuesday, “by news of the voluntary settlement between Kool Smiles and the government regarding services rendered more than seven years ago, I felt it was in the best interest of the board for me to step down.”

This month, Mayfield and his company settled a case with the U.S. Justice Department for $23.9 million, after the feds accused Kool Smiles of committing millions of dollars in Medicaid fraud in by filing hundreds of thousands of false claims. A 2013 federal complaint said the company preyed on low-income children.