Psychological Treatment Failed To Prevent Columbine – And Now The Boulder Mass Shooting?

Did psychological treatment in the form of anger management fail to prevent another mass shooting? 

Ahmad Alissa, charged in the shooting deaths of 10 people in a Boulder grocery store on March 22, received psychological anger management as part of his sentence of probation, after pleading guilty to a charge of misdemeanor third-degree assault in 2018.  As a high school senior in 2017, Alissa had attacked a classmate by punching him in the head without warning and continuing to punch him when he fell to the ground. 

Alissa is now being held in Boulder County jail on 10 counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder.  Police found him at the scene of the slaughter with a tactical vest, a semiautomatic handgun and an assault rifle, according to the arrest affidavit.

Columbine shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold also received psychological treatment.  After being arrested for breaking into a van and stealing electronic equipment in 1998, both spent 11 months in diversion programs, which included psychological counseling.  Harris’s program also included an anger management class.

Just two months after Harris and Klebold completed their diversion programs, they launched their attack at Columbine High School in April 1999, killing 13 people and wounding 26 others.

Documents later released by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office included a diary kept by Harris, filled with hateful and angry entries written over the two years leading up to the Columbine attack.

In an entry dated November 22, 1998 – just days after completing his anger management class and while his counseling was ongoing, Harris wrote about purchasing weapons and ammunition for the assault he would launch with Klebold the following April, concluding: “It’s all over now, this capped it off, the point of no return.” 

Harris had also been taking antidepressants for at least a year before the Columbine massacre, drugs which have been linked to agitation, aggression, abnormal behavior, mania, psychosis, suicide and violence.  Psychiatrist Peter Breggin and biopsychologist Ann Tracy are among those who make the case that Harris’s anger was fueled by the antidepressants.

Denver And Pueblo Psychiatrists Disciplined By Medical Board For Unprofessional Conduct

Two Colorado psychiatrists had their licenses put on five years’ probation by the Colorado Medical Board for unprofessional conduct under the state Medical Practice Act.

The disciplinary action taken against psychiatrist Thomas William Starkey, Jr., of Denver, is the result of his violation of an earlier agreement with the Board.  After pleading guilty to driving under the influence, Starkey signed a July 2019 agreement with the Board to stop performing any act requiring a medical license, while the Board investigated and determined what further actions, if any, were warranted. 

The Board then found that between July and October 2019, Starkey authorized his office staff to continue distributing pre-written prescriptions for medications to patients, in violation of his agreement with the Board.

In its Final Agency Order, dated January 27, the Board states that Starkey has a physical or mental condition that renders him “unable to perform a medical service with reasonable skill and with safety to patients in the absence of treatment monitoring” and that he “habitually or excessively used or abused alcohol, a habit-forming drug, or a controlled substance.” 

In addition to five years’ probation, the Board ordered Starkey’s abstinence from addictive substances, treatment as determined by the Colorado Physician Health Program, and compliance monitoring.

Starkey was previously disciplined with five years’ license probation in October 2010, after the Medical Board found that he crossed the boundaries of professional conduct with a female patient the same day he terminated treatment of her.  He completed that probation in 2015.

Psychiatrist Andi Kristine Woodbury, of Pueblo, was disciplined by the Medical Board, effective January 8, with a Letter of Admonition and five years’ license probation and treatment monitoring for violating a section of the Medical Practice Act concerned with failing to notify the Board of certain physical or mental conditions, or failing to practice within the limitations of those conditions with safety to patients, or failing to comply with limitations agreed to under any confidential agreement. 

Woodbury’s specific act or omission that prompted the Board’s disciplinary action was not further detailed, but it follows the March 2020 voluntary surrender of her clinical privileges during an investigation of her professional competence and conduct at the medical facility at which she worked and a July 2020 evaluation by the Colorado Physician Health Program, which concluded she could practice safely if she received treatment and monitoring.

Counselor at Boulder Mental Health Facility Arrested for Sexual Assault, Police Looking For Other Victims

A former counselor at the Warner House facility of Mental Health Partners, a community mental health clinic in Boulder, was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a patient, and police are looking for other victims.

Jose Yepes, 48, was employed as a “milieu counselor” and interacted with patients dealing with substance abuse. 

Boulder police began investigating a series of incidents involving the suspect after a female victim reported that Yepes repeatedly initiated sexual contact over a one-month period in November.

The Boulder Daily Camera reported details of an affidavit, in which the woman said Yepes locked her in a dark room for what he called “energy healing” sessions, asked her to spank him and step on his back while he was naked on the floor, and showed her nude photos of himself.

Yepes has been charged with stalking, unlawful sexual contact and indecent exposure.

License information on the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies website indicate the suspect was registered as an unlicensed psychotherapist, effective 2009 to 2011, but has not been licensed or registered with the state since then.

Boulder Police believe there could be additional victims and are asking anyone with information related to the case to contact them.  Police caution that suspects are presumed innocent until convicted. If you or anyone you know has been the victim of sexual contact by any employee of a mental health facility, we want to talk to you.  You can contact us by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.

Police Responding To Report Of Psychiatric Facility Runaways Are Asked By Staff To Control “Rioting”

Police officers arriving at a Colorado Springs psychiatric facility Saturday night in response to a report of juvenile runaways were asked by staff to help them gain control of the facility from “rioting” patients who were “overtaking” them.

Officers were initially dispatched to Cedar Springs Hospital after receiving a report that juveniles had run away from the facility, according to the Colorado Springs Police blotter.  

When officers arrived, they were advised that multiple patients were “rioting, overriding the facility, destroying property, and overtaking the staff.”  

Several staff members suffered injuries that police described as “minor.”

Five juvenile “instigators” were arrested on charges that include 2nd degree assault, 3rd degree assault and harassment.

Information on what sparked the incident is not available. 

What drugs the juveniles may have been prescribed is also not known.  Commonly prescribed psychiatric drugs carry well-known risks of side effects that include hostility, psychosis, aggression and violence.

If you or someone you know has had experience with this or any other psychiatric facility, we want to talk with you.   You can contact us by clicking here  or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.

Psychiatric Industry Aims To Profit From Racism, Targets African Americans

While many Americans see the recent racial tension in this country as an opportunity to address the issue of racial injustice, the psychiatric-pharmaceutical industry sees it as an opportunity to expand their reach – very profitably – into the African American community. 

Psychiatrists, psychologists, and mental health groups, many funded by pharmaceutical companies, had already been arbitrarily asserting that African Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems, and less likely to identify their own mental health problems, than the general population.

Now psychiatric practitioners are trying to create a higher level of urgency.  The American Psychological Association has announced that “we are living in a racism pandemic.” 

Psychiatrists and psychologists are labeling the very real pain experienced from racism as a psychiatric disorder – post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – for which a standard treatment is antidepressants.  These are drugs that carry the risk of serious and debilitating physical and mental side effects, including emotional blunting, worsening depression, sexual problems, birth defects, anxiety, hallucinations, agitation, violence, and suicidal thoughts and actions.  Patrick D. Hahn, Affiliate Professor of Biology, Loyola University Maryland warns, “The link between antidepressants and violence, including suicide and homicide, is well established.”

American psychological and psychiatric associations have already developed guidelines on how to “treat” racism – guidelines that ensure that Black Americans are informed about psychiatric drugs as treatment. 

Psychiatrists and psychologists have a long history of re-defining people’s normal responses to bad situations as “mental disorders” requiring their “treatment.”  But history shows that Blacks have been especially targeted for “treatment,” and so have good reason to beware of practitioners in the psychiatric industry.

Professors Herb Kutchins and Stuart Kirk, co-authors of Making Us Crazy: The Psychiatric Bible and the Creation of Mental Disorders, state:  “Defenders of slavery, proponents of racial segregation…have consistently attempted to justify oppression by inventing new mental illnesses and by reporting higher rates of abnormality among African Americans or other minorities.”

They further warn: “Innovations in diagnostic and treatment techniques are often proposed by those who claim to be committed to helping African Americans and other minority groups, but these innovations often perpetuate and increase racist thinking and lead to solutions that intensify persecution.“

For generations, psychiatrists and psychologists have been prime instigators of “scientific racism,” using pseudo-science to invent “racial diseases,” promote theories to “justify” segregation and racial population control, and subject Blacks to depraved “treatments” and barbaric psychiatric experiments.  Here are some key facts from that sordid history.

  • Though Dr. Benjamin Rush, the “Father of American Psychiatry, claimed he was anti-slavery in the late 1700s, in fact he purchased a child slave, whom he later freed only after being paid what he considered adequate compensation.  More importantly, he created a medical model of racism whose legacy is still felt today.  He claimed Blacks suffered from a disease called “negritude,” supposedly a form of leprosy.  Like lepers, he said, Blacks needed to be segregated to prevent them from “infecting” others.
  • Though Dr. Benjamin Rush, the “Father of American Psychiatry, claimed he was anti-slavery in the late 1700s, in fact he purchased a child slave, whom he later freed only after being paid what he considered adequate compensation.  More importantly, he created a medical model of racism whose legacy is still felt today.  He claimed Blacks suffered from a disease called “negritude,” supposedly a form of leprosy.  Like lepers, he said, Blacks needed to be segregated to prevent them from “infecting” others.

Psychiatrists and Psychologists Create Eugenics to “Justify” Racism

  • In 1883, English psychologist Francis Galton created the term “eugenics” (from the Greek word eugenes, meaning “good stock”) to encourage “better” human breeding and discourage those with “less desirable” traits from having children.  Eugenics is based on the belief that some humans are inferior to others.  Galton considered Africans inferior, writing: “These savages court [ask for] slavery.” 

The ideas of eugenics and “racial purification” would spread globally and would be used later “justify” many human rights abuses and atrocities, including the Nazi’s extermination of “inferior races” in the Holocaust, South Africa’s apartheid, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger’s push to exterminate the Black population through sterilization, and the Ku Klux Klan’s activities to eliminate non-whites – all to “protect” the white race, and all with their roots in eugenics.  

Psychiatrists and psychologists in the American mental health movement adopted and promoted the pseudo-science of eugenics in the U.S., spreading the racist idea of Black inferiority. 

A review of the history of the field of psychology revealed that in every decade from 1900-1970, there was a prominent American psychologist who was a proponent of the theory of the genetic inferiority of Blacks.  Many of these racist psychologists became presidents of the American Psychological Association.

  • The resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in the U.S. in the early 1900s occurred at a time when psychiatry’s eugenics-based racism was being broadly promoted in America, fueling the KKK’s mission of white supremacy.  In 1923, Hiram Wesley Evans, Grand Wizard of the KKK, referenced eugenics leaders in his speech given on “Klan Day.”

Psychiatry’s Embrace of Eugenics Leads to Racist Views of Blacks’ Intelligence 

  • In the 1920s, American eugenicists claimed that the IQ of Blacks was determined by the amount of “white blood” in them.  Interracial marriages were said to lower the IQ of whites.
  • In the 1950s, U.S. psychiatrist J.C. Carothers published a study with the World Health Organization, stating “that in many ways the African resembles a European 8- or 9-year old child in his reaction to the environment.”  He compared the African to a “leucotomized European.”  (“Leucotomy” is another word for “lobotomy,” psychiatry’s barbaric surgical procedure of cutting nerve connections in the front part of the brain to try to alter behavior.)
  • Psychiatry and psychology have a history of using biased intelligence testing to legitimize racism, appearing to “prove” that African Americans have lower IQs.  In the 1950s, Stanford University psychologist Lewis Terman, an “expert” on IQ testing, used biased IQ testing extensively, then asserted that non-whites could never be educated and that Blacks should never be allowed to have children.
  • As recently as 1994, psychologist Richard Herrnstein co-authored the book, The Bell Curve, in whichhe claimed that Blacks performed worse on intelligence tests than Whites and are“genetically disabled.”In an argument similar to those made by earlier  proponents of eugenics and “racial purity,” Herrnsteinadvocated selective breeding to limit the black population.

Psychiatry Targets Blacks for Experimentation and Barbaric “Treatments” in the U.S.

  • Psychiatric “treatment” of minorities in the U.S. has included some of the most barbaric experiments ever carried out in the name of “scientific” research.

In the 1940s, U.S. psychiatrist Walter Freeman believed that Blacks, especially Black women, were among the best candidates for a lobotomy because families were more likely to give their relatives who survived the lobotomy devoted post-operative care.  (A lobotomy is psychiatry’s barbaric surgical procedure of cutting nerve connections in the front part of the brain to try to alter behavior.)  In 1951, Freeman lobotomized Black patients in an experiment at the Veterans Administration hospital in Tuskegee, Alabama, describing the procedure as “a surgically induced childhood.”

  • In the 1950s in New Orleans, black prisoners were used for psychosurgery experiments that implanted electrodes into their brains by psychiatrist Robert Heath from Tulane University and psychiatrist Harry Bailey from Australia.  Bailey later boasted about the reason they had chosen Black test subjects, saying it was “cheaper to use [Blacks*] than cats because they were everywhere and cheap experimental animals.” [*Bailey’s racial slur is omitted here]
  • Psychiatrist Robert Heath also conducted secret drug experiments, funded by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), using LSD and a drug called bulbocapnine, which in certain doses produces severe stupor.  He experimented on Black prisoners at the Louisiana State Penitentiary to see if the drug would cause “loss of speech, loss of sensitivity to pain, loss of memory, [and] loss of will power…”
  • African Americans were targeted for brutal drug experiments at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the country’s top mental-health research facility.  In the mid-1950s, drug-addicted Blacks were used in an experiment with LSD that kept many hallucinating for 77 consecutive days.  In the 1960s, NIMH again used Black men as test subjects for an experimental hallucinogen, the chemical warfare drug BZ, which was many times more powerful than LSD.

Psychiatrists Invent Racist Diagnosis and Treatment for Blacks in Civil Rights Era

  • In the 1960s, psychiatrists invented the term “protest psychosis” to stereotype Blacks participating in the Civil Rights movement as aggressive.  Claims were made that joining in protests was a symptom of “schizophrenia.”  Ads for powerful antipsychotic drugs in psychiatric journals at the time used images of angry Black men or African tribal symbols to influence the prescribing of antipsychotic drugs to Blacks.  Today, African Americans are still disproportionately prescribed antipsychotic drugs.
  • In the 1970s, following riots in Watts, a predominantly black section of Los Angeles, the National Institute of Mental Health supported a “Violence Initiative” by psychiatrist Louis Jolyon West, the head of UCLA’spsychiatrydepartmentand Neuropsychiatric Institute, which was a proposal to treat young black urban male offenders with psychosurgery (cutting into the brain to disable parts of it)and chemical castration (using drugs to reduce the drive or ability for sexual activity).  Protests led by CCHR and others caused government funding for this project to be cut.
  • A second “Violence Initiative” supported by the National Institute of Mental Health gave psychiatric drugs to Blacks, including children as young as five, supposedly to research whether African-Americans had a violence gene that could be controlled by psychiatric drugs.
  • Racism towards African Americans continued for decades at the National Institute of Mental Health.  In 1992, psychiatrist Frederick Goodwin, executive director of the NIMH, compared Black youth living in inner cities to “hyper-aggressive” and “hyper-sexual” monkeys in a jungle. 

Today, a hidden eugenics agenda is still evident in the institutional racism of the psychiatric industry.  African Americans are disproportionately diagnosed with mental illness and disproportionately admitted to psychiatric and behavioral facilities.

They are disproportionately diagnosed as having a psychotic disorder, especially schizophrenia, and they are disproportionately prescribed antipsychotic drugs.  Black men, in particular, are more likely to be prescribed excessive doses of these psychiatric drugs. 

“Whipping the devil out of them” has been replaced with psychosurgery, electroshock, and psychiatric drugs.

CCHR International’s Task Force Against Racism & Modern Day Eugenics

In response to the psychiatric industry’s plan to sell psychiatric drugs and mental health treatment as the answer to racism, Citizens Commission on Human Rights International and Rev. Fred Shaw, Jr. launched the Task Force Against Psychiatric Racism and Modern Day Eugenics.  Its mission is to investigate and combat institutional racism and inform and empower the African American community with the facts about racism and eugenics masked as mental health care.

Rev. Shaw is an ordained minister with over 25 years of experience as a human rights advocate.  He served as a Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff and is currently the Executive Director of the Inglewood-South Bay chapter of the NAACP.  He has obtained three NAACP national resolutions against the forced drugging and electroshocking of children and teens, and he is a past recipient of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation award for his NAACP leadership and dedication in protecting children against psychiatric labeling and drugging.  He is also a CCHR spokesperson.

As a human rights organization and mental health industry watchdog, CCHR has exposed and campaigned against racism and racial abuse in the mental health system since our inception in 1969.  CCHR has worked with the NAACP since 2003 in exposing the stigmatizing labeling and drugging of African American children and, with Rev. Shaw, in obtaining the three national NAACP resolutions.

The entrenched legacy of eugenics in the mental health industry has permeated all sectors of society, paving the way for racial discrimination and abuse.  CCHR is dedicated to bringing to light the truth about how psychiatry and psychology are the instigators and peddlers of racism, not the help for it.

For more information, contact CCHR Colorado at (303) 789-5225.

State Closes Clear View Behavioral Health, Intends To Revoke License Permanently

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has closed Clear View Behavioral Health in Johnstown, effective immediately, and is proceeding to revoke its license permanently because of a history of non-compliance with state and federal regulations, according to a CDPHE news release issued September 28.

Clear View’s five-year regulatory history includes 111 citations issued after state and federal investigators found deficient practices during 40 initial and revisit inspections, according to data on CDPHE’s Health Facilities website.  The inspections occurred mostly in response to complaints the Department received about the psychiatric facility.

The citations included violations of regulations concerning psychiatric evaluation, patient safety, infection control, administration of drugs, nursing services, treatment plans, patients rights, restraint and seclusion, and discharge planning.

Clear View also had seven occurrences at the facility that were required to be reported to CDPHE:  four occurrences of sexual abuse, three of physical abuse, and one of neglect.

In July 2018, CDPHE issued a finding of “Immediate Jeopardy” twice, meaning Clear View’s non-compliance with regulations put patients’ health and safety at risk for serious injury, serious harm, serious impairment or death. 

Clear View responded in December 2018 that it had corrected the deficient practices, and  CDPHE issued a conditional license in February 2019 for the facility to continue to operate. 

When new complaints were filed with CDPHE and reports on problems at Clear View were aired by The Denver Channel, CDPHE made an unannounced visit to the facility to investigate in late May 2019.  

As a result of finding “repeat deficiencies, as well as new deficiencies which placed Clear View patients’ health, safety, and welfare at risk,” CDPHE notified Clear View in June 2019  of its intention to revoke the psychiatric facility’s license, giving facility administrators 30 days to respond while allowing operations to continue.  Clear View responded and asked for a hearing before an administrative law judge.

Instead, CDPHE investigators revisited Clear View in September 2019 and, after determining that it was again in compliance with regulations, CDPHE allowed the facility to keep its license under terms of an agreement the parties signed in January.

Recently, CDPHE investigators, responding to new complaints, conducted another unannounced visit and found “multiple deficiencies, including nursing services and infection control.”

The Department concluded that the latest deficiencies, in addition to Clear View’s regulatory history, warranted a summary suspension “for consistent regulatory violations.” 

CDPHE now intends to revoke Clear View’s license permanently.  It has been licensed since November 2015.

If you or someone you know experienced substandard conditions or harmful treatment at a mental health facility, we want to talk to you.  You can contact us by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.

Counselor Charged With Helping Juvenile Offender To Escape Loses License To Practice

A former behavioral health specialist at the Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center in Golden has been permanently barred from practicing as a counselor or psychotherapist in Colorado after allegedly aiding the escape of a juvenile offender and engaging in a relationship with him in her home while he was a fugitive.

According to official documents, Kirsten Gonzalez was 26 years old at the time she signed a home pass for the 19-year-old male inmate in August 2017, allegedly knowing he was planning not to return to the correctional facility.  Her supervisors at the time issued a letter of reprimand to her for providing the pass.

The escapee was finally apprehended in October 2018, when he was arrested in connection with a carjacking.  He was convicted of robbery in June 2019 and sentenced to six years in prison.  In July 2019 he was sentenced to three years for his escape from the youth detention center.

Gonzalez’s alleged further involvement with the fugitive was not discovered until July 2019, when she reportedly admitted in a recorded interview with Lookout Mountain staff that she had been involved in a relationship with him.  She reportedly was escorted from the facility that day and resigned her position soon after.

According to official documents, a subsequent investigation by the Golden Police Department found that Gonzalez provided him with the home pass, had knowledge of the escape and provided him with shelter and comfort after his escape. 

Gonzalez was arrested in August 2019 on felony charges of aiding escape and accessory to escape, and a misdemeanor charge of official misconduct.  Her next appearance in Jefferson County Court is scheduled for May 26.

Meanwhile, the Colorado Board of Licensed Professional Counselor Examiners received a complaint against her, alleging “an inappropriate relationship with a client,” which if true, would violate state law under the Mental Health Practice Act.

The Board ordered Gonzalez to undergo a “mental or physical evaluation” in September 2019, and when Gonzalez failed to comply, the Board in October 2019 suspended her license  to practice until she submitted to the required evaluation.

Then, in a January 2020 agreement with the Colorado boards that regulate licensed professional counselors and registered psychotherapists, Gonzalez agreed to permanently give up her counselor’s license and psychotherapist’s registration and never to reapply for them, though she still denied the Board’s allegations. 

If you believe a psychiatrist or other mental health worker has engaged in unprofessional conduct, we want to talk with you.  You can contact us by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.

Researchers Conclude Suicide Warning On Antidepressant Labels Is Justified

Researchers examining the validity of the black box warning on antidepressants have concluded that the warning of the increased risk of suicidal thoughts and actions in children and young adults is clearly justified.

The best evidence available from clinical trials “demonstrated increased risk of suicidality adverse events among youth taking antidepressants,” according to researchers from universities in the United States and Australia, whose findings were published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry.

The researchers also examined critics’ claims that the black-box warning led to fewer prescriptions for antidepressants and, as a result, higher rates of suicide and suicide attempts. 

Instead, researchers found that the rise in suicidal behavior in children and young adults occurred while prescriptions for antidepressants also increased.  

“More recent data suggest that increasing antidepressant prescriptions are related to more youth suicide attempts and more completed suicides among American children and adolescents,” the researchers wrote.

“The black box warning is firmly rooted in solid data, whereas attempts to claim the warning has caused harm are based on quite weak evidence,” they concluded.

A black box warning on a drug label is one of the FDA’s strongest warnings, reserved for drugs that carry significant risk of serious or fatal side effects.

The black box warning on antidepressants was first required by the FDA in 2004 to warn of the increased risk of suicidal thoughts and actions in children and adolescents.  The warning was expanded in 2007 to include young adults. 

“When a clear body of evidence points to increased treatment-linked risk, patients and healthcare providers should be made aware of these risks,” the researchers wrote, noting their duty to warn.

WARNING: Anyone wishing to discontinue or change the dose of a psychiatric drug is cautioned to do so only under the supervision of a competent medical doctor because of potentially dangerous, even life-threatening mental and physical withdrawal symptoms.

If you or someone you know has experienced harmful side effects from antidepressants, we want to talk with you.  You can contact us by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.

Psychiatrist Surrendering Colorado License Investigated In Deaths Of 36 Patients In New Mexico

Part of the ongoing series:
You Be The Judge

A psychiatrist who surrendered his Colorado medical license in August to settle allegations that he over-prescribed drugs and that six of his patients died from drug overdoses is now under investigation by authorities in New Mexico in the deaths of 30 other patients over a six-year period.

Edwin B. Hall was licensed to practice in Colorado since 1984, but had been practicing in New Mexico when his alleged over-prescribing came to the attention of authorities there.

The Albuquerque Journal reports a search warrant was recently served by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Division, alleging that a total of 36 of Hall’s patients died from 2013 through 2018.  Authorities seized records of patients being treated by Hall and other providers in his now-closed practice in Albuquerque.

Six deaths were allegedly the result of overdoses, according to the warrant and information from the New Mexico Medical Board.  Hall did not admit any wrongdoing, but agreed in March to permanently surrender his New Mexico medical license.

Investigations by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office into the other 30 deaths are ongoing.

The Colorado Medical Board issued its Stipulation and Final Order in August, based on the investigations and allegations by the New Mexico Medical Board.

In its Order, the Colorado Board alleged that Hall had prescribed controlled substance drugs “in a manner posing a threat to the health of his minor and adult patients,” that he “failed to effectively screen, evaluate, assess, and monitor patients to whom controlled substances had been prescribed,” and that “six of his adult patients died as a result of an overdose.”

The Board further alleged that an unlicensed individual was treating patients at Hall’s practice and billing Medicaid under Hall’s name.

The unlicensed individual was identified by a New Mexico law firm as John A. Connell, a  psychiatrist whose license had been revoked in Georgia over allegations of over-prescribing drugs and sexual contact with a female patient.

Hall denied the Colorado Board’s allegations, but agreed to permanently surrender his Colorado license, effective August 6, to resolve the matter.

In addition to ongoing investigations, the Albuquerque Journal reports three civil lawsuits have been filed in New Mexico against Hall alleging medical negligence, with one of the suits also naming Connell as a defendant.

If you or someone you know has been over-prescribed psychiatric drugs by a psychiatrist or other prescribing mental health worker, we want to talk with you.  You can contact us by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.

Boulder Psychiatrist Put On Probation – His Third Disciplinary Action By A State Medical Board

Part of the ongoing series:
You Be The Judge

 The license of Boulder psychiatrist David K. Rosenthal has been put on probation and his practice will be monitored for five years under the terms of disciplinary action taken recently by the Colorado Medical Board.

In its Stipulation and Final Agency Order dated July 24, 2018, the Board found Rosenthal substituted telephone calls for several in-person appointments with a patient whose mental health symptoms and condition were too severe for it, and failed to meet with the patient regularly to ensure he was safely prescribing drugs to him.

This is the third public disciplinary action taken against Rosenthal by a state medical board, one of which led to the surrender of his California medical license.

According to Medical Board of California disciplinary documents, Rosenthal admitted that in 2000, he had sexual relations with a female patient who was seeking treatment from him after reportedly being sexually assaulted by her landlord.

Rosenthal was convicted in 2001 in Sacramento County Superior Court of misdemeanor sexual battery and sexual exploitation.  He was sentenced to 180 days in jail and three-year probation, during which time he was ordered not to treat females or minor children.  He was also ordered to get sexual abuse counseling and pay restitution to his victim.

Rosenthal subsequently surrendered his California medical license in 2002.

In April 2003, he applied to reactivate his Colorado medical license, which had been inactive since 1993.  In November 2003, the Colorado Medical Board granted him a restricted license to work only at correctional facilities because “the oversight inherent in the practice of medicine in the correctional system will adequately protect the public.”  He was also required to complete a course on maintaining personal boundaries.

In September 2004, Rosenthal requested that the restrictions be modified.  The Medical Board agreed in October 2004 to a five-year stipulation, limiting his license to patient evaluations and medication management.  He was required to disclose to his patients that he had been disciplined by the Board for sexual contact with a patient and that such contact is “inappropriate under any circumstances.”

He was also required to continue treatment as determined by the Colorado Physician Health Program, which monitored his practice and his treatment of patients, in particular “those patients who might trigger vulnerabilities leading to boundary violations” by Rosenthal.

The restrictions expired in October 2009.

In May 2016, Rosenthal was again disciplined with a letter of admonition from the Colorado Medical Board.  It found that in his treatment of a patient, he failed to consider alternative and more appropriate medications to treat the patient’s anxiety, failed to properly address the tapering of the patient’s Xanax, inappropriately prescribed Neurontin on an unsupervised basis (to help with Xanax withdrawal seizures), and failed to address the PTSD he had diagnosed in the patient.

The Board decided not to start formal proceedings against his license at that time.

Rosenthal’s current probation with practice monitoring extends to July 2023.

If you believe a psychiatrist or other mental health worker has engaged in unprofessional conduct, we want to talk with you.  You can contact us by clicking here or by calling 303-789-5225.  All information will be kept in the strictest confidence.