By Alison M. Rosen
Updated January 23, 2004 11:09 AM

Rush Limbaugh’s attorneys have tried, unsuccessfully, to arrange a deal with Palm Beach County prosecutors allowing the conservative talker to enter a court-sponsored drug-intervention program instead of facing charges, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.

“I believe this proposal would be in keeping with the public interest,” Limbaugh’s attorney wrote in a letter to the prosecution on Dec. 11. “The public is better served by treating addicts as patients rather than criminals.”

Prosecutor James Martz wrote back four days later saying that an intervention program alone wasn’t sufficient, as prosecutors had evidence supporting over 10 felony counts.

Through a public records search, the Sun-Sentinel discovered that prosecutors wanted Limbaugh to plead guilty to one charge of “doctor-shopping,” a third-degree felony. He would have received three years of probation and been subject to random drug tests.

It’s unclear whether this offer is still on the table. Black was dismayed that prosecutors didn’t keep his communication with them private. He also called the state’s response to his request for drug intervention “preposterous.” He’s been quoted as saying that he suspects it’s politically motivated.

Limbaugh admitted his addiction to prescription painkillers in October, citing severe back pain as the initial cause.