Idaho suspends, revokes clinical social workers' licenses
January 2, 2013
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.
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