In 2007, the Oklahoma State Board of Licensed Social Workers
obtained a consent order under which B. Bryan Post agreed to modify the advertising of his credentials. Post, who refers to himself as “Dr. Post,” has accredited bachelor and master degrees, but his “Ph.D. was obtained from “Columbus University,” a diploma mill that was not accredited by the U.S. Department of Education or the State of Oklahoma. The agreement (shown below) states that Post must disclose this fact in any Web site flyer, resumé, business card, or telephone book in which he refers to himself as “Dr.” or Ph.D.” Post now operates the Post Institute for Family Centered Therapy in Chesapeake, Virginia, which his Web site describes as “an intensive in-home counseling service, is committed to providing therapeutically nurturing support to children and their families.” A recent newspaper report indicates that he has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from government agencies for treating children with “attachment therapy” and other controversial methods. [Sizemore B. Controversy trails ‘attachment’ therapist who runs Chesapeake center. The Virginian-Pilot, July 6, 2008]
BEFORE THE STATE BOARD OF
LICENSED SOCIAL WORKERS
IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT
AGREED FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW,
To resolve the Complaint and Notice of Hearing issued January 29, 2007, against the Respondent, the Board of Licensed Social Workers (“Board”) and the Respondent hereby enter into this Agreed Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Order. The Respondent does not appear, having previously approved the terms of this Order as evidenced by his signature affixed below, and enters into this Order in lieu of a formal administrative hearing.
Agreed Findings of Fact
1. The Respondent is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Oklahoma.
2. The Respondent advertises that he has a Ph.D. and uses the designation “Dr.” See, e.g., http;//www.postinstitute.com/studies.htm1 (last visited Jan. 26, 2007).
3. The institution from which the Respondent received his Ph.D. degree, Columbus University, is not, and has never been, accredited by the U.S. Department of Education or the State of Oklahoma.
Agreed Conclusions of Law
1. The Board has jurisdiction over this matter and Respondent pursuant to 59 O.S. Supp.2006, § 1253(C). The Respondent has voluntarily submitted himse1fto the Board’s jurisdiction.
2. Any Finding of Fact which is properly a Conclusion of Law is incorporated herein by reference and vice versa.
3. Title 59, Section 1266.1 of the Oklahoma Statutes provides:
A. The State Board of Licensed Social Workers may refuse to issue or renew the license of, or may suspend, revoke, censure, reprimand, restrict or limit the license of, or fine, any person pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act or the procedures set forth in this act upon one or more of the following grounds as determined by the Board:
1. Unprofessional conduct as determined by the Board;
. . .
3. Conduct which violates any of the provisions of this act or rules adopted pursuant to this act[.]
4. The Social Worker’s Code of Professional Conduct, OAC 675:20-1-5(a), states: “The social worker shall not participate in or condone fraud or any other misrepresentation. The social worker shall not misrepresent professional qualifications, education, experience, affiliations, or services performed.”
5. The Respondent’s use of “Dr.” and “Ph.D.”in his advertising could be potentially misleading unless he also states in those advertisements that the institution that granted his degree is not accredited by the U.S. Department of Education or the State of Oklahoma.
6. Pursuant to 59 O.S. Supp.2006, § 1253(C), the legislature has delegated to the Board the duty of enforcing the Social Worker’s Licensing Act (“Act”). Pursuant to 59 O.S. Supp.2006, §§ 1266.1 and 1270(B)(5), the Board has the authority to penalize any person for a violation of the Act by: refusing to issue or renew a license, or by suspending or revoking a license; censuring or reprimanding a licensee; restricting / limiting a license; or imposing a fine not to exceed $500.00.
7. Nothing contained herein is to be construed as an admission of wrongdoing by the Respondent.
In light of the agreed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law set forth above, the Board and the Respondent enter into the following Agreed Order:
1. Within 60 days from receipt of this Order, the Respondent will add the following disclaimer to his advertisements that contain the terms “Dr.” or “Ph.D.”: “Columbus University does not have accreditation recognized by the u.s. Department of Education or the State of Oklahoma.” For advertisements in publications whose printing schedules prevent changes within 60 days, the Respondent will add the disclaimer in the next scheduled edition of the publication.
2. The term “advertisements” in the preceding paragraph means information designed to solicit clients that is contained in websites, fliers, resumes, business cards, and telephone books.
The Respondent acknowledges that once adopted by the Board, this Agreed Order and all associated documentation become a matter of public record.
Acceptance by the Board
This Agreed Order will not be submitted for Board consideration until it has been agreed to and executed by the Respondent. The Agreed Order shall not become effective until it has been approved by a majority of the Board and endorsed by a representative member of the Board. It is hereby agreed between the parties that this Agreed Order shall be presented to the Board with a recommendation for approval from the Board at the next scheduled meeting of the Board.
The Respondent understands that the Board is free to accept or reject this Agreed Order and, if rejected by the Board, a formal disciplinary hearing on the complaint against the Respondent may be had. The Respondent hereby agrees to waive any rights he might have to challenge the impartiality of the Board to hear the disciplinary complaint, if after review by the Board, this Agreed Order is rejected.
If the Agreed Order is not accepted by the Board, it shall be regarded as null and void. Admissions by the Respondent in the Agreed Order will not be regarded as evidence against him at the subsequent disciplinary hearing. The Respondent will be free to defend himself and no inferences will be made from his willingness to have entered into this agreement.
Voluntary Waiver of Rights
The Respondent is fully aware of his rights to contest the charges pending against him. These rights include: representation by an attorney at his own expense; the right to a public hearing on any charges or allegations filed; the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses called to testify against him; the right to present evidence on his own behalf; the right to compulsory process to secure the attendance of such witnesses; the right to testify on his own behalf; the right to receive written findings of fact and conclusions of law supporting the decision of the merits of the complaint and the right to obtain judicial review of the Board’s decision. The Respondent in exchange for the; Board’s acceptance of this Agreed Order voluntarily waives all of these rights.
This Agreed Order consists of six (6) pages and embodies the entire agreement between the Board and Respondent. It may not be altered or modified without the express consent of the parties. This Agreed Order is contingent upon compliance with the conditions listed herein within 60 days or the agreement is null and void.
Certificate of Board Attorney
I believe this Agreed Order to be in the best interests of the Oklahoma Board of Licensed Social Workers and the State of Oklahoma for the violations as alleged in the Complaint.
Dated this 29th day of March, 2007
Debra Schwartz, OBA #18464
Assistant Attorney General
4545 N. Lincoln Blvd., Suite 260
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Phone: (405) 522-4399
Fax: (405) 528-1867
Attorney for the Board
Order of the Board
Now on this 30th day of March, 2007, the Respondent has agreed voluntarily, with knowledge of his rights under the law, to the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law , and Agreed Order contained herein. It further appears that the foregoing Agreed Order is just and equitable to safeguard life, health and property, and to promote the public welfare in the State of Oklahoma.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Respondent’s agreement to the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Agreed Order contained herein is accepted and the above Agreed Order shall be the order of the Oklahoma Board of Licensed Social Workers.
All participating members of the Board vote “Aye.”
BOARD OF LICENSED SOCIAL WORKERS
Toni Lempicki, Chair
I have read the above Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Agreed Order. I understand that by its terms I waive certain rights accorded me by Oklahoma law. I agree to the above agreed Order.
B. Bryan Post
Dated this 28 day of March 2007
Approved as to form:
Robert Raftery, Esq.
ATTORNEY FOR RESPONDENT
This page was posted on July 9, 2008.