Psych Crime Reporter

July 29, 2010

Arizona social worker Kelly Tinley suspended for failing to report DUI arrest

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 8:57 pm

On January 8, 2010, the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners suspended master social worker Kelly Tinley.

Tinley submitted her application for licensure as a master social worker in July 2008.  In October 2008, she was arrested and charged with extreme DUI.

She admitted to not disclosing this information to the Board or her employer, as is required.

The Board issued her license in January 2009.  In June 2009, she was convicted on the extreme DUI charge.

She was allowed to resign from her position as she had to begin serving a 45-day jail sentence.

On June 25, 2009 she submitted a self-report to the Board regarding her DUI—nearly eight months after she was required to report her arrest.

Source: Entry on Kelly Tinley in the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners Adverse Action Tracking Form, as found on the Board’s website.

Arizona revokes license of social worker Steven Brinton for several issues

Filed under: Uncategorized — Psych Crime Reporter @ 8:56 pm

On January 8, 2010, licensed clinical social worker Steven Brinton surrendered his license to the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners.

This surrender was deemed a revocation the Board a revocation.

The Board’s document states that Brinton:

  • Provided 159 therapy sessions to a client who attempted suicide by overdose one week after her last session with him;
  • Failed to coordinate his treatment with her primary care practitioner, who prescribed antidepressants to her;
  • Failed to obtain a signed and dated written informed consent for treatment, failed to document any kind of written assessment and failed to prepare any written treatment planning documentation.;
  • Treatment notes were largely illegible and not reflective of what occurred during therapy sessions;
  • Failed to maintain appropriate boundaries with the client; failed to document all of the client’s diagnoses or provide appropriate treatment to correspond with the diagnoses.

The client’s Bishop, friends, husband and primary care practitioner expressed concern over the lack of appropriate boundaries in Brinton’s relationship with the client, which included a conflict of interest in that the client hired Brinton’s son to paint rooms in her house.

Brinton attended a self-improvement seminar in the client’s home which was attended by other of Brinton’s clients and in the last six months of treatment, Brinton engaged in phone and text messaging with the client that was characterized as “intimate” by three of the client’s friends.

When the client expressed romantic interest in Brinton, he failed to therapeutically address transference issues in the therapist-client relationship and failed to consult with other professionals regarding how to address this issue.

Source: Entry on Steven Brinton in the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners Adverse Action Tracking Form, as found on the Board’s website.

Arizona counselor Mary Molinek, convicted of bringing contraband to inmate, has license revoked

Filed under: mental health counselor — Psych Crime Reporter @ 8:53 pm

On December 11, 2009, the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners revoked the license of licensed professional counselor Mary Molinek.

Molinek was arrested and booked into county jail on May 28, 2009 for giving contraband to an inmate and was subsequently terminated (implying that she was employed as a counselor at a correctional facility).

Her employer filed a complaint with the Board.  Molinek failed to respond to the complaint, the subpoena for records or subpoena to appear.

She eventually informed the Board via telephone that she would not participate in its investigation.  She reported having completed her probation and that the felony charge against her was reduced to a misdemeanor but provided no proof.

Source: Entry of Mary Molinek in Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners Adverse Action Tracking Form 2009, as posted on the Board’s website.

Arizona revokes license of counselor Martha Thompson for misrepresentations, terminations

Filed under: mental health counselor — Psych Crime Reporter @ 8:52 pm

On December 11, 2009, the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners revoked the license of licensed professional counselor Martha Thompson due to numerous clinical/procedural failures, terminations and misrepresentations including the following:

In 2004, her employer terminated her employment for failing to report an incident of suspected sexual abuse of a minor to CPS, breaching client confidentiality and documentation failures;

In 2005, she was terminated by another employer during her probation period;

In 2006, she was terminated by a third employer for refusing to follow case manager guidelines, refusing to cooperate with co-workers and client complaints about rudeness;

In 2007, she was terminated by a fourth employer for leaving children in the sole and unsupervised care of a parent in violation of a directive restricting the parent to supervised visitation and for general job performance deficiencies;

In 2009, she applied for employment at another agency and falsely stated she’d left her previous employment due to “family illness.”  She was hired but terminated by that agency for ongoing poor performance issues, including clinical judgment, patient safety, incomplete charts, disorganization, ineffective communication and insubordination.

She represented to the Board that she left this last agency so that she could pursue private practice.

Source: Entry of Martha Thompson in Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners Adverse Action Tracking Form 2009, as posted on the Board’s website.

July 15, 2010

State revokes license of counselor Taylor Danard for using fake Ph.D., phoney title

Filed under: crime and fraud,mental health counselor — Psych Crime Reporter @ 7:23 pm
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On June 2, 2010, the Washington Department of Health (DOH) suspended registered counselor Taylor Danard for no less than five years, during which she may not petition for reinstatement, based on the DOH’s findings that Danard committed unprofessional conduct by violating 14 points of the state code.

This result corresponds to charges the DOH issued against Danard in May 2009, alleging that in 2003, she purchased a Ph.D. degree from St. Regis University, an online “diploma mill,” which indicated that she had earned a Doctor of Philosophy in June 2002.

Danard did not complete an academic program or course work to earn any such Ph.D.

Between at least August 2003 and July 2008, Danard misrepresented her education and training on the disclosure information she provided her clients, identifying herself as a Ph.D. and using the title “Ph.D.” after her name.  Additionally, she advertised herself as Ph.D. on her business cards, the door of her office, on her stationery, on profiles she placed on several psychologist-related websites and in the Yellow Pages.

Further, during the course of the DOH’s investigation, Danard provided false or misleading information to the DOH investigator, including a written statement denying that she purchased her Ph.D. and asserting that the curriculum to earn it was exhaustive, requiring an evaluation, final thesis and Committee Action; Danard stated she’d studied for almost 19 months to comply with requirements.  During a later interview and written statement, she admitted that she had lied.

Source: Stipulated Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Agreed Order in the Matter of Taylor Danard, Credential No. RC00013399, Case No. M2009-86, State of Washington Department of Health Secretary of Health.

Counselor-custody evaluator Stephen Adam cited for lapsed license

Filed under: Court psychologist,Divorce and custody — Psych Crime Reporter @ 7:12 pm
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On April 8, 2010, the California Board of Behavioral Sciences issued a citation order to marriage and family therapist Stephen D. Adam.  The citation states that in July 2009, the Board received a complaint alleging that Adam provided services for which a license was required, while his license was actually in delinquent status.  His license had expired on June 30, 2009 and he did not renew it until August 17, 2009.  The Board ordered Adam to pay an administrative fine of $250.

A Los Angeles Times news item from 1992 states that court justices reverse a decision which dropped Adam from a lawsuit brought by a woman who sued him for approving unmonitored visits to her daughter by her ex-husband, during which time the woman claims her daughter was sexually molested.  The justices’ ruling stated court-appointed evaluators such as Adam do not get “blanket immunity for all negligenct conduct.”

Source: Citation Order No. MF-2010-102 on Stephen Douglas Adam, License No. MFC 6063, April 18, 2010, Board of Behavioral Sciences and Mark I. Pinsky, “Court of Appeal Reverses Verdict in Murder Case, Los Angeles Times, June 2, 1992.

July 13, 2010

Arizona psychiatrist David A. Ruben placed on probation, prohibited from prescribing painkillers for a year

Filed under: chronic pain,psychiatrist — Psych Crime Reporter @ 4:41 am
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On May 21, 2010, the Arizona Medical Board issued a public censure of psychiatrist David A. Ruben and restricted him from prescribing and any opioid drugs for a period of one year.

He was additionally placed on probation with terms and conditions for two years.

According to the Board’s order, Ruben deviated from the standard of care with twelve patients to whom he prescribed controlled substances and other dangerous drugs without doing one or more of the following:

  • conducting evaluations
  • ordering lab studies
  • obtaining past medical records
  • obtaining a history of alcohol or substance abuse
  • obtaining a past psychiatric history
  • performing a functional assessment to support the diagnosis and prescription

In one particular case, Ruben diagnosed an 18-year-old girl with ADHD and prescribed her Adderall.  She had presented to him complaining of moodiness and irritability.  There was no documentation of the prescription in the patient’s record.

Ruben subsequently provided the patient with “frequent, early and escalated doses” of Adderall without documenting any rationale for doing so.

There was no documentation in the patient’s record that Ruben investigated the patient’s rationale for seeking early refills.

He further prescribed her Prozac, Cymbalta, lorazepam and Zoloft without documenting a rationale for the prescriptions or whether he discussed the risks and benefits of the these drugs.

There was also no evidence in the record that he ordered any laboratory tests to support the continued prescribing of Adderall or to determine if the patient was taking the drug as prescribed and/or any illicit substances.

The Board placed Ruben on one year probation in April 2009 for unprofessional conduct regarding his prescribing of narcotics to a patient with chronic pain, such as continuing to prescribe Oxycontin and Oxycodone even after he’d discovered the patient tested positive for cocaine and non-prescribed methadone and he continued to prescribed them even after the patient had successfully completed inpatient opioid detoxification.

Source: Order for Decree of Censure, Practice Restriction, Probation and Consent to Same in the Matter of David A. Ruben, M.D., Holder of License No. 11382 For the Practice of Allopathic Medicine in the State of Arizona, Case Nos. MD-09-013A, MD-09-0250A, MD-09-0926A, MD-09-1263A and MD-10-0100A, Before the Arizona Medical Board.

Psychiatrist Mayer Nelken fined $15,000, license degraded, for fraudulent treatment arrangment

Filed under: crime and fraud,psychiatrist — Psych Crime Reporter @ 4:26 am
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On or about May 17, 2010, British Columbia psychiatrist Mayer Nelken admitted unprofessional conduct.  He was fined $15,000 and his license was removed from the class of Full-Specialty registration and placed in the class of Conditional-Disciplined.

According to a release from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia, Nelken oversaw the treatment of a patient receiving repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) treatment at the MindCare Centre in Toronto.

rTMS is an alleged treatment for depression which is non-invasive, using magnetic fields to induce electric currents in the brain.

The College’s release further states that Nelken failed to obtain College consent to practice in association with MindCare, contrary to the requirements of the Medical Practitioners Act; he had rental arrangements with MindCare which constituted a conflict of interest and were ethically inappropriate; he was represented as the rTMS psychiatrist and Medical Director of the MindCare clinics in both Vancouver and Toronto, when he had no experience or expertise in rTMS and was not registered to practice medicine in Ontario; he accepted the patient for rTMS treatment at MindCare without seeing the patient, obtaining appropriate consent or collateral data; he had no involvement in the patient’s treatment but co-signed the Patient Discharge Report without any knowledge of the treatment provided or the patient’s response to treatment, among other things.

Source: Dr. Nelken, Mayer, Richmond, B.C., Media release – May 17, 2010, College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia.

July 8, 2010

California medical board disciplines psychiatrist Neal Mazer for prescribing violations, etc.

Effective May 24, 2010, the Medical Board of California issued a Stipulated Settlement and Disciplinary Order against psychiatrist Neal Stuart Mazer, revoking his license.  Revocation was however stayed and Mazer was placed on probation for three years with terms and conditions.

On June 9, 2009, the Board issued an Accusation which stated that Mazer prescribed numerous controlled substances and psychiatric drugs to himself (some for over the course or more than a year), such as the antidepressants Lexapro and Wellbutrin, mood stabilizers Lamictal and Topamax and ketamine.

In February 2010, the Board issued an Amended Accusation, alleging additional charges of repeated negligent acts,  furnishing dangerous drugs without an examination and failure to maintain adequate records.

The document specifies that, among other things, Mazer prescribed Concerta and Adderall without adequate evaluation to a 16-year-old with a documented prior and current substance abuse abuse history without evaluating if the patient’s inattentive symptoms might have been due to substance abuse issues; prescribed Valium and Darvocet to the patient for reported back pain without conducting an appropriate back examination and without parental consent and without discussing the risks of the drugs with the patient’s parents, in light of his history of substance abuse; provided therapy to the patient’s girlfriend without the girl’s parent’s consent; provided a credit card number to the patient so that he could rent a hotel room for himself and his girlfriend; took the patient, who was “incoherently drunk” following the hospitalization of his girlfriend (who was comatose after an apparent overdose on Mazer-prescribed narcotics) into his own home for observation.

Conditions of Mazer’s probation include abstaining from the use or possession of controlled substances, routine biological fluid testing and satisfactory completion of courses in prescribing, recordkeeping and a professional boundaries program.

Source: Stipulated Settlement and Disciplinary Order in the Matter of the Accusation Against Neal Stuart Mazer, M.D., Physician and Surgeon Certificate No. G 86314, Case No. 05-2007-181061, OAH No. 2009090457, Before the Medical Board of California.

Australian medical tribunal suspends psychiatrist James Taylor for sex with patient

On June 11 2010, the Medical Tribunal of New South Wales suspended psychiatrist James Taylor for three years for professional misconduct.

According to the document published by the Tribunal, Taylor entered into a personal and sexual relationship with a female patient and prescribed to her while in the relationship.

The patient began treatment with Taylor in approximately 1993 and remained for about 14 years.

She moved to a different region in 2004 but would contact Taylor by phone for prescriptions.

In December 2006, the therapeutic relationship changed.  In a statement given to the Tribunal, the patient stated, “When I phoned to get a prescription, Dr. Taylor told me that his marriage had broken up.  He came to my house on Christmas Eve day and we talked for three hours.  We had sexual intercourse for the first time.  The sexual relationship continued until 6 March 2007.”

Taylor admitted he had entered into the sexual relationship with the patient and prescribed to her during that time.

The document states that in approximately January 2007 to early March 2007, Taylor and the patient had expressed intentions to find a rental property for themselves and the patient’s daughter to live together.  The patient also acquired rental space for herself as a physiotherapist on the basis of statements made by Taylor regarding financial assistance.  Taylor however terminated their relationship by telephone on the morning of March 6, 2007.

The document states the patient was devastated by Taylor’s withdrawal from their relationship and plans to live together. On the evening of that day, the patient called Taylor advising she was in a crisis situation.  His response was, “Oh just take a double dose of Lamictal [mood stabilizer]; I am terribly sorry; this has all been my fault.”

Source: Reasons for Determination, Health Care Complaints Commission v. Dr. James Taylor, No. 40008-09, in the Medical Tribunal of New South Wales and “Dr. James Taylor – suspended for three years by NSW Medical Tribunal,” news release of the Health Care Complaints Commission of New South Wales, 15 June 2010.

Story reprinted with permission of Citizens Commission on Human Rights International.

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