Eastside eye surgeon charged in murder-for-hire plot

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by KYLE MOORE / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on November 16, 2009 at 6:42 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 17 at 12:24 PM

SEATTLE- Tonight well-known Eastside eye surgeon Dr. Michael Mockovak is locked up in the King County Jail for an alleged murder for hire plot against his business partner and a former employee.

On November 12, FBI agents and police swarmed Mockovac's Newcastle home. They took the co-founder of Clearly Lasik into custody for his alleged role in a murder-for-hire plot against his fellow surgeon and business partner, Dr. Joseph King, and a former president of the company, Bradley Klock.

According to charging papers, Mockovak asked an employee of his clinic if he knew any "Russian hit men."

The employee contacted the FBI.

During the next several months, the employee wore a wire and tape-recorded conversations with Dr. Mockovak.

Charging papers indicate business was declining for Clearly Lasik's eight locations and the business partners had a falling out. According to the probable cause statement Clearly Lasik has a $5 million life insurance policy on Dr. King, of which Dr. Mockovak believed he would get half.

The two were having problems, says the court document and Mockovac stated "I hate people taking advantage of me, like Joe (Dr. King), he is a greedy snake."

Prosecutors allege Mockovak put a $10,000 down-payment to have a hit man take out King while he was on a family vacation in Australia.

The other alleged victim is former president of the company Bradley Klock.

Clearly Lasik terminated Klock in 2006. Klock filed a wrongful termination suit which according to court documents angered Mockovak.

According to a court summary report, Mockovac knew Klock was scheduled to travel to Germany and that it would be a good opportunity to have him "eliminated."

Klock now lives in Canada and was not aware of the murder-for-hire plot, says his attorney Stephen Connor.

According to Connor, Klock says he was "shocked" to hear about the alleged plot against himself. Klock who is hiking in the Canadian Rockies told his attorney that he was "a little disturbed to think Dr. Mockovak is not in prison."

Mockovak appeared before a judge today who raised his bail to $3 million because of concerns that Mockovac could be a flight risk or a danger to the community.

Outside court Mockovak's attorney Colette Tvedt said: "We entered a not-guilty plea and he is anxious to represent himself on these charges.

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