October 19, 2006

The Division of Professional Licensure announced today that 14 Judge Rotenberg Center ("JRC") clinicians entered into a Consent Agreement with the Board of Registration of Psychologists ("Board") to resolve allegations that they held themselves out as Psychologists and/or used the title "Psychologist" without having a valid Massachusetts license.

"Psychology is a state licensed profession in Massachusetts," said George K. Weber, Director of the Division of Professional Licensure. "Psychologist is not just a title that can be used at will. A licensed Psychologist is an individual who has met the academic and clinical experience requirements of the Board. Consumers have the right to expect that their Psychologist has the proper credentials and is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth."

The Board was notified in April of 2006 that these clinicians were identified on the JRC website with the title of Psychologist, even though it was believed that these individuals were not licensed as such by the Board. The Board immediately investigated these allegations and found that the individuals were not licensed as Psychologists by the state. The Board took action and originally filed applications for criminal complaints in Stoughton District Court in May 2006. Court action is no longer necessary because the Board was able to negotiate an appropriate result for the Commonwealth.

During the course of the Board investigation five of the clinicians also acknowledged that they had held themselves out as Psychologists in Massachusetts Probate Court while testifying regarding the treatment of children at JRC.

As part of the Consent Agreement, the clinicians agreed that they would not represent themselves as Psychologists or use the title "Psychologist" until they had applied for and received a valid license to practice psychology in Massachusetts. In addition the clinicians provided a total of $43,000.00 which was paid by their employer, JRC.

The clinicians told investigators that JRC had assigned them the position and title of "JRC Psychologist" and that they were informed by JRC that they could use the title even though they were not licensed.

The following is a list of those individuals who entered into a Consent Agreement with the Board:

ClinicianAmount Paid by JRC
Kelly Isley$2,000
Robert Worsham$5,000
James C. Griffin$5,000
Nicholas Lowther$2,000
Andre Vlok$5,000
Nathan Blenkush$2,000
Timothy Paisey$2,000
R. Nicolle Matthews$2,000
Thelmisha Vincent$2,000
Peter Jaberg$2,000
Christine Chiudina$5,000
Rachel Coffin$2,000
Sinead Wood$2,000
Robert Von Heyn$5,000

Consumers are urged to visit the Division of Professional Licensure's website at http://www.mass.gov/dpl and select the check a license option to determine whether a professional they are considering doing business with is licensed and in good standing.

The Division of Professional Licensure is a regulatory agency within the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. The agency is responsible for ensuring regulatory compliance and the integrity of the licensing process for approximately 330,000 licensees across 43 trades and professions under the jurisdiction of 30 boards of registration.