-- Firebrand radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh was charged Friday with fraudulently concealing information to obtain prescription drugs, but prosecutors will drop the charge after 18 months if Limbaugh remains in treatment for drug addiction, his lawyer said.
Limbaugh also agreed to pay the state of Florida $30,000 to help cover the cost of the investigation into the conservative radio personality's alleged "doctor shopping," a felony in Florida.
Attorney Roy Black said the deal will end a lengthy investigation into whether Limbaugh "doctor shopped," which is illegally obtaining prescriptions from multiple sources. Limbaugh acknowledged an addiction to painkillers in October 2003 after his former housekeeper told The National Enquirer she sold drugs to him. (Watch how Rush Limbaugh made a deal -- 2:56) Following the revelation, Limbaugh left his radio show for five weeks while he attended a rehabilitation program.
"Mr. Limbaugh and I have maintained from the start that there was no doctor shopping, and we continue to hold this position," Black said in a statement, adding that Limbaugh pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Although Black urged reporters not to call it an arrest -- because Limbaugh turned himself in and was never handcuffed -- a sheriff's spokesman said technically he was under arrest during his booking.
It's the hypocrisy that's outrageous since Limbaugh has publicly insisted (before he was caught, that is) that drug offenders be dealt harsh prison sentences.
It will interest you to know that CNN has a Quick Vote with this question: "Where is the best place for Rush Limbaugh?" Rehab or jail? 65% of participants said "jail". If he's going to dish it out he needs to be able to take it. At least that's what the public seems to think.