Psych Crime Reporter

January 2, 2013

Idaho suspends, revokes clinical social workers’ licenses

Filed under: license revoked,License suspended,social worker — Psych Crime Reporter @ 3:14 pm

On January 18, 2012, the Idaho Board of Social Work Examiners suspended the license of social worker Lesa McConnel for two years. This was the result of McConnel’s criminal conviction: On March 3, 2009, McConnel pleaded guilty to one count of Health Care Fraud in the US District Court for the District of Idaho. She was sentenced to three months in custody and three years of supervised probation and ordered to pay restitution of $40,874.

On January 24, 2012, the Board suspended the license of social worker Kari Turnbough for three years. The Board’s document states that Turnbough began providing services to a client with significant substance abuse and mental health issues in July 2006 and that in 2008, she allowed the client to live in her home for several months, resulting in significant boundary violations and a conflict of interest.

On January 24, 2012, social worker James Hibbard entered into a stipulation and consent order with the Board, authorizing his probation officer in his criminal case to provide the Board with quarterly reports regarding his compliance with the terms of his probation. The Board also placed Hibbard’s license on probation for five years with terms and conditions. On his renewal application in August 2010, Hibbard disclosed that he had pleaded guilty March 18, 2009 to felony driving under the influence (third offense).

On January 24, 2012, Idaho social worker Gina Blalock entered into a stipulation and consent order with the Board, resulting in her license remaining suspended until she fully and successfully completes disciplinary requirements placed on her (the Board placed her license on emergency suspension in August 2011). According to the Board’s document, in June 2010, the state Bureau of Occupational License received a complaint alleging that while providing services to a client, Blalock offered to take the client to a bar for one of their sessions. The Bureau found during its investigation that Blalock’s employer had placed her on a Corrective Action Plan in 2010 because she had alcohol on her breath while at work on several occasions. An evaluation found alcohol dependence problems. Between the date the evaluation was requested and the day it was conduct, Blalock was arrested for DUI.

On February 17, 2012, the Board publicly reprimanded social worker Andrea R. Armstrong, ordered her to complete additional continuing education in ethics and pay the Board’s investigative costs of $1,378.11. The Board’s document states that Armstrong abruptly resigned from employment without making arrangements to transfer clients or refer them to other therapists.

On March 8, 2012, the Board held the clinical social work license application of Kent Thibault in abeyance while he completes six more months of supervised practice before he shall be allowed to take the licensing examination. The Board’s document states that Thibault lied on his LSW and MSW license applications by failing to disclose criminal convictions involving moral turpitude.

On April 23, 2012, the Board suspended the license of social worker David A. Reynolds, effective upon the reactivation of his expired license. The Board’s document states that Reynolds was terminated of lost his employment for failure to provide appropriate care for clients; failing to communicate with client and failing to keep accurate and timely records of the care provided.

On August 27, 2012, the Board accepted the voluntary surrender of social worker Mark Saltzer’s license to practice social work. On August 20, 2012, the Ada County District Attorney filed a criminal complaint against Saltzer, charging him with 10 counts of felony sexual exploitation of a child. Saltzer waived his right to a hearing. Criminal charges are pending. Saltzer was a counselor for the Meridian School District.

On July 16, 2012, the Board reprimanded social worker Barbara G. Norton and placed her on supervised probation for three years with terms and conditions. The Board’s document states that Norton “engaged in Medicaid billing irregularities, with respect to several patients, including billing for services which were not document in client files; altered billing logs and codes; and inadequately documented services performed in the medical records.”

On August 28, 2012, the Board suspended social worker Leslie Ann Ray for one year. The Board’s document states that on April 27, 2012, Ray pleaded guilty to petit theft, a misdemeanor, for submitting progress notes and timesheets to her employer, alleging collateral contacts with probation and parole officers which either did not occur or which did not last as long as Ray claimed, and for which Medicaid was billed.

On August 28, 2012, the Board ordered social worker Connie G. Miller to complete five hours continuing education in the area of ethics and to reimburse the Board its costs for investigation, $3,031.53. The Board’s document states that on January 5, 2010, Miller provided expert testimony in the form of a written opinion letter in a child custody case on behalf of the father, who was her client, without personally evaluating the mother involved in the case and without adequate substantiation of the opinions she expressed in the letter, which was relied upon by the Court during the custody trial.

On October 23, 2012, the Board revoked the license of social worker Cindy Lynn Brown. The Board’s document states that on April 12, 2012, the Board received a complaint from one of Brown’s former clients, alleging that she’d abandoned the client and refused to provide copies of the client’s treatment records to the client’s new therapist. On July 18, 2012, the Board received a complaint from Brown’s former employer alleging that an audit revealed that Brown had billed clients’ private insurance and received payment, while also receiving payment directly from the client (“double-dipping”). Brown voluntarily surrendered her license while under investigation and waived her right to a hearing.

August 14, 2012

State orders social worker Denise Lynn Bailey to pay $12K in costs

Filed under: social worker — Psych Crime Reporter @ 8:47 pm

On May 17, 2012, the Wisconsin Marriage & Family Therapy, Professional Counseling, and Social Work Examining Board issued an Order Fixing Costs to clinical social worker Denise Lynn Bailey, ordering her to pay $12,556.45 for the costs of the Board’s disciplinary proceedings against her.

On December 15, 2011, the Board suspended Bailey for 30 days. Bailey was employed at that time as a social worker by the Bayfield County Department of Human Services (DHS). Among DHS’ responsibilities is the investigation of allegations of child abuse.

In November 2008, a friend of Bailey’s (“T.L.”) contacted her to advise that he thought his daughter (“D.L.”) had run away. She later learned that T.L. had been arrested and charged with sexual assault of a child (against D.L.). Bailey was found to have accessed confidential information about D.L. and assisted T.L.’s mother with obtaining bail money for D.L. from her co-workers though she was well aware that the case (of child abuse) would be investigated by her employer.

Being that she was friends with the D.L. family, she should have known that her conduct therefore constituted a dual relationship with the D.L. family.

Source: Final Decision and Order with Explanation of Variance in the Matter of the Disciplinary Proceedings Against Denise Lynn Bailey, CSW, Order 0001283, Case #09 SOC 26, Wisconsin Marriage & Family Therapy, Professional Counseling, and Social Work Examining Board.

Clinical social worker Erica M. Schoch suspended for romantic letters to inmate

Filed under: social worker — Psych Crime Reporter @ 8:44 pm

On April 11, 2012, the Wisconsin Marriage & Family Therapy, Professional Counseling, and Social Work Examining Board suspended the license of clinical social worker Erica M. Schoch for six months.

The Board’s document states that in August 2011, Schoch, who was employed with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, began to exchange letters of a romantic nature with an inmate enrolled in her Earned Release Group.

Between August and September 2011, she wrote three letters and received approximately five letters from the inmate.

An investigation by her employer however did not produce evidence of a physical relationship or the delivery of articles to the inmate.

Schoch was also required to pay $200 for the cost of the Board’s proceeding.

Source: Final Decision and Order in the Matter of the Disciplinary Proceedings Against Erica M. Schoch, Order #0001478, Case No. #11 SOC 080, Wisconsin Marriage & Family Therapy, Professional Counseling, and Social Work Examining Board.

Sex with client ends in trouble and more trouble for Wisconsin social worker Jackie Morter

Filed under: sexual abuse,sexual exploitation,social worker — Psych Crime Reporter @ 8:42 pm

On January 11, 2012, the Wisconsin Marriage & Family Therapy, Professional Counseling, and Social Work Examining Board suspended clinical social worker Jackie Morter for 30 months, retroactively beginning December 1, 2009.

According to the Board’s document, Morter worked as a psychotherapist at Sheboygan Count Health and Human Services (SCHHS), in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. From May 15, 2008 to July 29, 2009, she provided psychotherapy and case management services to client T.R.

On July 18, 2009, while Morter was out of town, Sheboygan police were notified of a possible burglary at her residence. Officers found T.R. in Morter’s driveway, attempting to operate her vehicle. W

hen police contacted Morter regarding T.R.’s presence at her home, she stated she’d not given him permission to enter her home or operate her vehicle.

T.R. was arrested for burglary and driving a vehicle without owner consent. On October 29, 2009, Morter’s supervisors at SCHHS initiated an investigation of Morter’s relationship with T.R. Recorded telephone conversations between the two revealed a sexual relationship. On November 5, 2009, Morter revealed to two co-workers that she was having a sexual relationship with T.R.

Morter was terminated from her employment with SCHHS on November 24, 2009.

In January 2010, Sheboygan Police filed a complaint with request for charges against Morter to the District Attorney for her false statement—that T.R. did not have permission to be in her house—during the burglary investigation.

Source: Final Decision and Order #0001302, In the Matter of the Disciplinary Proceedings Against Jackie M. Morter, Division of Enforcement Case #09-SOC-074, Wisconsin Marriage & Family Therapy, Professional Counseling, and Social Work Examining Board.

Alcohol gets Texas social worker Ann Wood suspended for two years

Filed under: patient abuse,social worker — Psych Crime Reporter @ 8:32 pm

On March 10, 2012, the Texas State Board of Examiners of Social Work Examiners placed licensed clinical social worker Ann Wood of Austin on probated suspension for two years. The Board’s report states that Wood engaged in unethical conduct by holding counseling sessions while under the influence of alcohol and failed to properly secure confidential client files stored in her office.

Source: Enforcement Actions report of the Texas State Board of Examiners of Social Workers, April 2012.

July 7, 2012

State denies application of social worker over employment disciplinary history

Filed under: disciplinary history,social worker — Psych Crime Reporter @ 4:27 pm

On February 3, 2012, the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners denied the licensed master social worker application of Marilyn Foster, based on unprofessional conduct.

According to the Board’s disciplinary report, Foster refused to attend a mandatory meeting called by her employer regarding complaints filed against her, and job and supervisory performance matters.

The Board’s reports states that over a five-year period, the employer noted that improvement was needed regarding the timeliness in corrective actions for employees under her supervision and that she failed to meet required productivity goals and that there was an ongoing struggle to be accepted by her supervisees.

She also had received three disciplinary reports due to her and her team’s delays in submitted mental status reports and that the Board had received several complaints from staff members stating that she’d engaged in inappropriate communications of a sexual/derogatory nature towards employees.

Foster was terminated for inappropriate behavior, lack of team leadership and management and not following a directive from her supervisor.

Source: Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Adverse Action Tracking Form, 2012.

Arizona suspends social worker Kathleen Hernandez

Filed under: social worker,substance abuse — Psych Crime Reporter @ 4:20 pm

On February 3, 2012, the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners suspended the license of social worker Kathleen A. Hernandez for an indefinite period.

According to the Board’s disciplinary report, Hernandez was arrested in December 2006 for Extreme DUI with a blood alcohol concentration of .232.

In April 2007, the Board executed an interim consent agreement prohibiting her from practicing.

In January 2008, the Board released her from the interim agreement and executed a consent agreement requiring her to attend AA twice a week and other conditions.

In May 2009, the Board released her from the terms of the consent order.

In December 2011, Hernandez was again arrested for DUI.

Source: Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Adverse Action Tracking Form, 2012.

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