Oregon’s Psychology Board is still trying to give the impression that they actually do their job. On Friday, they issued a press release:
As is so often the case, they leave out some important facts:
- The University is paying Kerr’s fine, so in practice it’s not a fine at all.
- Kerr, like all licensed psychologists, is required to take four hours of ethics training anyway, so mandating six hours is meaningless. And all six will no doubt count towards her continuing education requirements, for a net penalty of … zero.
So it’s not even a slap on the wrist.
Deliberate? Or Accidental?
When dealing with the Oregon Board of Psychologist Examiners, one should always stop and ask whether anyone knew what they were doing.
There can be no doubt that, in this case, they knew exactly what they were doing: when the fine was reduced from $5,000 to $2,500, it was at the plea of the University (which is actually paying it), not from Kerr.
Even the $5,000 is just a rounding error from the University’s point of view. So far, their expenses include:
- An $800,000 out-of-court settlement to the student rape victim whose records were handed over to her attackers’ lawyers by Kerr.
- A $425,000 out-of-court settlement to the two counseling center employees who blew the whistle on Kerr.
- $200,000 in legal costs.
This is the context in which the Psychology Board decided that a $5,000 fine was too large, so they magnanimously knocked it down to $2,500.
Who’s In the Board’s Good Book?
Why does the Board see Kerr as being so special? Who else is a member of this exclusive club? After all, the Board has no reluctance to take savage reprisals against people they don’t like.
Who doesn’t the Board like? Everyone who isn’t a PhD psychologist, for starters. People like counselors and psychologist associates.
- For example, take the case of Christian Wolff, who was fined $10,000, and suspended for a year for abbreviated the term “Psychologist Associate” to “PsyA.”
- Or Michaela Lonning, a co-founder of this site, who was fined $5,000 for practicing psychology without a license by being a counselor. (No, it doesn’t make any sense to me, either.)
So that’s who the OBPE doesn’t like: practically everybody. Who do they like?
Well, themselves, of course. And their buddies. And they also seem deeply impressed by authority: the state, the university, larger hospitals and clinics.
So if you’re a PhD psychologist and fall under this immunity, hey — do whatever you like! The OBPE has you covered.
The only problem is that the OBPE keeps issuing press releases about their shenanigans, drawing attention to their screwiness.