Monthly Archives: May 2010

State charges mental health counselor Joseph McCreery with sexual misconduct

On April 27, 2010, the Washington Department of Health issued a Statement of Charges on psychiatrist Joseph M. McCreery, alleging sexual misconduct and professional misconduct, based on the following:

From May 10, 2005, through November 17, 2005, McCreery provided psychotherapy to Patient A, to address personal issues in the patient’s life, including boundary issues, issues related to the patient’s husband and daughter and the patient’s grief following the deaths of her mother and a friend.

McCreery documented on November 17, 2005 that he informed the patient that the physician-patient relationship “ends as of today.”

Approximately a month later, the former patient contacted McCreery and suggested they meet socially.

McCreery and the patient met socially in approximately mid-January 2006.

McCreery began a romantic relationship with the patient in late April 2006 and a sexual relationship with her in mid-October 2006.

Both McCreery and the patient were married to other individuals.

Source: Statement of Charges In the Matter of the License to Practice as a Physician and Surgeon of Joseph M. McCreery, M.D., License No. MD00021272, Case No. M2008-118416, State of Washington Department of Health Medical Quality Assurance Commission, filed April 27, 2010.

Mental health counselor Andrew B. Phillips’ license revoked for sex with teen client

On May 6, 2010, the Washington Department of Health (DoH) revoked the credential of registered counselor Andrew Phillips for unprofessional conduct.

The DoH’s charges against Phillips (which were issued in April 2010) state that between July and August 2009, Phillips, who was then employed at at Community Counseling Institute of Tacoma, provided drug and alcohol counseling to a 17-year-old female client.   Between approximately October 2009 and November 2009, the client was placed with Phillips and his wife in the course of a dependency action.  Between these latter dates, Phillips is alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct with the teenager, including but not limited to hugging and kissing the client, fondling client’s breasts, sexual intercourse and mutual oral sex.

Phillips was given the opportunity to respond to the charges in a DoH hearing but affirmatively waived his opportunity for a hearing in the matter.

Source: Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Final Order (Waiver of Hearing) in the Matter of Andrew B. Phillips, Credential No. RC 60010154, Case No. M2010-314, State of Washington Department of Health, filed May 6, 2010 and Vernal Coleman, “Tacoma Drug Counselor Accused of Having Sex With 17-Year-Old Former Patient,” Tacoma Weekly, April 21, 2010.

Terry Zuehlke, psychologist-clinic exec director, suspended for sex with former patient

The Minnesota Board of Psychology has disciplined Terry Zuehlke, a Golden Valley psychologist, for having a sexual relationship with a former patient.

The board suspended his license indefinitely, it said in a disciplinary action released Tuesday.

The board said that Zuehlke, who was executive director of Pathways Psychological Services in Golden Valley, treated a patient between 2001 and 2004 for individual and couples counseling. Within several months of ending their professional relationship, Zuehlke and his client saw each other socially, then they engaged in sexual activity, the board said.

Zuehlke violated state statute and board rules by having a sexual relationship with a patient within two years of terminating a professional one, the board said. It suspended his license for 21 months. To have his license reinstated, Zuehlke must undergo a psychological evaluation, agree to treatment if recommended, and take courses in professional protocols. He must also pay a fine of $2,500.

Source: “Golden Valley psychologist is disciplined by state board,” Minneapolis Star-Tribune, May 25, 2010.

Mental health counselor Tina Weaver gets probation for marrying client

On February 19, 2010, the Washington Department of Health (DoH) placed licensed mental health counselor Tina Weaver (fka Cronin) on probation for three years for unprofessional conduct.  The DoH’s document states that on or about April 22, 2009 through May 11, 2009, Cronin, provided therapy services to a client who was referred to the clinic for therapy for trauma suffered as a result of witnessing a girl die in an automobile accident.  On or about May 12, 2009, Cronin terminated therapy with the client in order to pursue a romantic relationship with him.  On or about August 26, 2009, Cronin and the client were married.

Source: Stipulated Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Agreed Order, In the Matter of Tina Cronin, Credential No. MHC.LH00009898, Case No. M2009-1181, State of Washington Department of Health.

State charges mental health counselor who failed to disclose conviction involving sexual contact with male teen

On February 25, 2010, the Washington State Department of Health (DoH) charged licensed marriage and family therapist (MFT) James F. Jacobs with unprofessional conduct.  The DoH’s Statement of Charges states that the state of WashingtoJacobs a MFT license on July 22, 2001 and that earlier, on July 2nd, he’d submitted his application for an MFT license.  On the application, he’d answered “no” to the question:

“Have you ever been convicted, entered a plea of guilty, nolo contender or a plea of similar effect, or had prosecution or sentence deferred or suspended, in connection with:

a. the use or distribution of controlled substances or legend drugs?

b. a charge of a sex offense?

c. any other crime, other than minor traffic infractions? (Including driving under the influence and reckless driving)”

On or about August 6, 1998, Jacobs was arrested in Bell County, Texas for indecency with a child by contact, a felony, for sexual contact with a sixteen (16) year old male.  On or about December 22, 1998, Jacobs was convicted of assault with bodily injury, a misdemeanor reduced from the original indecency charge, in Bell County, Texas (Cause No. 2C98-3677).

On or about April 6, 2006, Jacobs’ clinical privileges to practice as a substance abuse counselor for the U.S. Army Medical Department, Kenner Army Health Clinic, Fort Lee, Virginia, were permanently revoked for failure to disclose the above referenced criminal conviction when completing a Department of the Army Malpractice History and Clinical Privileges Questionnaire.

Source: Statement of Charges, In the Matter of James F. Jacobs, Credential No. MFT.LF.00000856, Case No. M2009-999, State of Washington Department of Health.

School psychologist sentenced to 14.5 years prison; “groomed” boys for molestation

Fifty-nine-year-old Craig Figley, a former psychologist for the Colville School District (Colville is located in the northeast corner of Washington state) was sentenced today to serve at least 14.5 years in prison for molesting an 11-year-old student and attempting to molest another.

Figley pleaded guilty in March 2010 to molesting the boys and admitted he’d “groomed” the victims to take advantage of them.

In court, Figley said “I have committed illegal and shameful acts.” Those illegal and shameful acts involve two underage boys.

Figley has a history of child molestation, including victims who were friends of his own son

Figley admitted repeatedly fondling the children while caring for them, buying them video games, and taking them out for dinner.

In addition to first-degree child molestation, Figley pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography after images of young boys were found on his school computer.

Figley was a member of a multidisciplinary team that helped coordinate law enforcement investigations of child abuse.

Following sentencing, his case will go before a state board that reviews the sentences of sex offenders, and that board could decide to keep him in prison for life, Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen said.

Source: “School counselor sentenced for molestation,” Spokesman Review, May 10, 2010.

Rhode Island psychiatrist William Kyros ceases practice; three patients complained of sexual violations dating to early ’90s

In April 2010, the Rhode Island Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline issued an Agreement to Cease Practice on that psychiatrist William P. Kyros agreed to cease the practice of medicine in the state.

According to the document, the Board had received information concerning three “boundary violations” with women who were his patients.  The violations date from the early 1990s and most recently 2010.

The documents states that the Board learned of this information while investigating a complaint that occurred in April 2009 (does not indicate if the complaint regarded Kyros or another physician).

The Board also learned in its investigation that Kyros was working as an employee in a mental health practice that lacked proper licensure and organizational structure.  When the president of that mental health practice was informed concerning two of the boundary violations, he did not refer them to the Board but undertook other measures, such as tape recording patient sessions without patient consent in order to protect the patients and the practice.

Lastly, the document states that “the complaints to the Board implicate the provisions…for sexual contact between a doctor and patient.”

Source: Agreement to Cease Practice in the Matter of William P. Kyros, M.D., License Number MD 6880, State of Rhode Island Department of Health Board of Medical Licensure and Disipline, Case No. 08-250 and 09-252.