New Jersey has suspended the license of a doctor who practices at multiple locations across the state.

Acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck and the Division of Consumer Affairs announced Thursday that Francis Rienzo, of Sea Girt, entered into a consent order with the State Board of Medical Examiners that imposes a three-year license suspension, including one year of probation, and a financial penalty of more than $85,000.

The 60-year-old, who maintains a private practice in Sea Girt and handles patients at numerous treatment centers, admitted to having inappropriate sexual contact with a female patient he was treating for substance abuse, officials said. Rienzo allegedly also engaged in questionable prescribing practices involving the same female.

"We will not tolerate sexual misconduct by healthcare professionals towards their patients," Bruck said. "Physicians who betray their patients' trust and violate professional standards will be held accountable."

Effective Dec. 17, Rienzo cannot have any contact with patients, practice as a physician, or prescribe drugs. The order gives time for the orderly transfer of patients to other doctors. During this period, Rienzo may not accept new patients.

According to officials, Rienzo is the medical director for several New Jersey treatment centers, including Comprehensive Treatment Center in Cliffwood, Endeavor House in North Kearny, Advanced Health and Education Addiction Treatment Center and Clearwater Behavioral Health in Eatontown, and Sunrise Detox in Cherry Hill, Stirling, and Toms River. Rienzo is also a physician at Jersey Shore Addiction Services and Hackensack Meridian Health, which have offices in Neptune.

Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

NJ teachers and educators caught in sex crime busts

Over the past few years, state lawmakers have taken on the challenge of dealing with accused child predators among the ranks of teachers and educators.

In 2018, the so-called “pass the trash” law went into effect, requiring stricter New Jersey school background checks related to child abuse and sexual misconduct.

The follow individuals were arrested over the past several years. Some have been convicted and sentenced to prison, while others have accepted plea deals for probation.

Others cases are still pending, including some court delays amid the COVID-19 pandemic.