Monthly Archives: February 2013

LA psychiatrist Ruby Siddiqui surrenders license on charge of sexual misconduct, more

On February 12, 2012, psychiatrist Ruby Siddiqui surrendered her license to the Medical Board of California, after a Board-appointed evaluator found that she impaired and unable to safely practice medicine.

According to the state’s documents, the Board became concerned about Siddiqui when she telephoned them in June 2011 to report to them an attempted lawsuit against her for sexual harassment. Licensed health care practitioners are required to report legal actions against them to the Board. On the call, Siddiqui is reported to have spoken in an illogical, disjointed and confusing manner, an admitted to conduct that violates the state Medical Practice Act.

The Board initiated an investigation of Siddiqui.

A Board investigator interviewed Siddiqui in her home on July 26 and 27, 2011 and noted that her home was in disarray, cluttered, and smelled strongly of cat urine. Siddiqui lives with 22 cats. The investigator established that Siddiqui’s disorganized and illogical speaking patterns were widespread. It was found that Siddiqui engaged in sexual relationships with patients (the Board’s Stipulated Surrender document details one case in particular). Additionally, it was found that she does not keep medical records although she treats patients. Further, it was found that she prescribes drugs without conduct any examinations and at times freely prescribes based solely on patient requests. Lastly, Siddiqui bills patients’ insurance companies for weekly visits, regardless of whether she sees them.

Source: Stipulated Surrender of License and Order in the Matter of the Accusation Against and Ruling and Order on Petition for Interim Suspension Order in the Matter of the Petition for Interim Suspension Order Against Ruby Siddiqui, M.D., License No. C50414, Agency Case No. 17-2011-216150, OAH Case No. 2012040380, Medical Board of California.

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Virginia suspends social worker Elizabeth Balyeat for sex with former client

On October 30, 2012, the Virginia Board of Social Work suspended indefinitely the license of clinical social worker Elizabeth Balyeat (a.k.a. Elizabeth Klug) for a period of no less than nine months. According to the Board’s order, Balyeat counseling a client at her private practice from December 2010 through May 2011, when counseling was terminated. In June 2011, she entered into a personal relationship with the former client, which progressed to a romantic and then sexual relationship. Balyeat failed to document a treatment plan, the termination process or discharge summary in the clinical record.

Tennessee revokes social worker’s license for sexual activities with clients

On December 14, 2012, the Tennessee Department of Health revoked the license of clinical social worker Theodore Newman for, among other things, engaging in unprofessional or unethical conduct including sexual activities with current or former clients and dual relationships with clients.

Pennsylvania counselor Arthur R. Merrell surrenders license for sexual contact with minor

On November 13, 2012, the Pennsylvania Department of State accepted the permanent surrender of professional counselor Arthur Richard Merrell’s license. Merrell was convicted of crimes of moral turpitude involving sexual contact with a 14-year-old male under his care and supervision.

Virginia suspends counselor Kenneth P. Wells for sexual relations with client

On November 20, 2012, the Virginia Board of Counseling suspended indefinitely the license of professional counselor Kenneth P. Wells because between approximately September 2011 and June 2012, Wells engaged in a romantic and sexual relationship with a client whom he was treating for anxiety and marital issues.

Witness says she met psychiatrist at hotel for “sexual activity” in exchange for Xanax

A Savannah psychiatrist will remain in federal custody after his court-appointed lawyer Thursday waived a detention hearing on accusations his client exchanged prescriptions and cash for sex with local strippers.

Dr. William Ellien, 58, was arrested last week on a federal complaint for illegally distributing controlled substances for no legitimate medical reason. He was ordered detained pending a hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge G.R. Smith.

Ellien, handcuffed and wearing a jail jumpsuit, was brought to court Thursday morning and almost immediately returned upstairs to the U.S. Marshal’s lockup after attorney George Asinc of Rincon waived the hearing.

According to the affidavit submitted by federal Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Douglas Kahn, “a number of witnesses” told investigators they had sex with Ellien in exchange for drugs.

One witness told investigators she met Ellien at the Holiday Inn Express on Abercorn Street in June “for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with him,” the affidavit said.

In exchange, he gave her a prescription for the drug Xanax and cash, the affidavit said.

Agents also determined that Ellien “on more than one occasion booked rooms” at the motel, the affidavit said.

It indicated Ellien had been under investigation since September.

The affidavit stated the agent did not include “all facts known to me, but only the facts necessary to establish probable cause that” Ellien violated federal law.

During an interview with drug agents, the affidavit said, Ellien “admitted to meeting various girls at local strip clubs” and engaging in sexual acts with them “in exchange for cash and prescriptions.” He said the conduct occurred from about 2009 until the end of November 2012 and was “unlawful and unethical,” the affidavit said.

In 2011, the Georgia Medical Society named Ellien a health care hero for health care education for conducting or sponsoring activities that have improved the quality of life in our community.

He was a private-practice physician who served as medical director for Memorial Health’s Center for Behavioral Medicine on the campus from 2007 until his contract was terminated in September.

Source: Jan Skutch, “Savannah psychiatrist to remain in jail in drugs for sex case,” Savannah Morning News, February 1, 2013.

State suspends psychiatrist Wiliam J. Kafin for alleged relationship with 19-year old patient

The license of a psychiatrist practicing in Glenview and Skokie has been suspended for at least three years because of an alleged sexual relationship with a 19-year-old female patient more than 10 years ago, according to state officials.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation states that it revoked William Joel Kafin’s medical license in December, according to the department’s monthly report published Wednesday.

As part of the punishment, the department also fined Kafin $5,000.

Kafin’s lawyer, Michael K. Goldberg, said his client is appealing the decision, which was signed on Dec. 6 but made public this week with the monthly report. Kafin declined comment through his lawyer.

Kafin, who was then 58, allegedly had a personal and sexual relationship with the woman he was treating in 2002. He also allegedly provided alcohol and marijuana to her, according to court documents.

Kafin, who has been a licensed psychiatrist since 1980, is accused of gross negligence in practice; immoral conduct; and dishonorable, unethical, or unprofessional conduct of a character likely to deceive, defraud or harm the public, documents state.

The department’s December decision came after the Illinois Appellate Court ordered the department in May 2012 to reconsider its previous punishment, ruling that it is “overly severe,” according to court documents.

Kafin’s license was suspended previously by the department from July 2011 until May 2012, according to court documents.

“We are appealing the decision again because it’s too harsh,” said Goldberg, of the Goldberg Law Group, adding that Kafin denies the allegations.

The woman filed a lawsuit initially with the Cook County Circuit Court in 2004, alleging that Kafin “caused emotional distress” to her.

Source: Alexandra Chachkevitch, “State suspends license of suburban psychiatrist because of alleged relationship with patient,” Chicago Tribune, February 1, 2013.