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Suspension of Psychiatrist Is Rejected

September 16, 1993|RENEE TAWA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

THE REGION — A state administrative law judge has declined to suspend the license of an Upland psychiatrist over allegations of sexual misconduct with three patients, including a La Verne woman.

On Sept. 9, Administrative Law Judge M. Gayle Askren denied the Medical Board of California's petition for an interim suspension order against Dr. Kenneth R. Jones. In his decision, Askren agreed that Jones is guilty of gross negligence and incompetence in his conduct with at least two patients, but that the finding is not enough to suspend him from practice.

"This tribunal, in finding such behavior to have occurred, and these patients to have been exploited, does not by means of its order minimize the unprofessional conduct or condone it," Askren said in the order.

The interim order would have prohibited Jones from practicing pending the outcome of the state's formal accusation against him, said Deputy Atty. Gen. Richard D. Garske. No hearing date has been set on the formal accusations, which could still lead to suspension or revocation of Jones' license, he said.

In a sworn declaration included in the state's petition, a La Verne woman said that Jones attempted to rape her during a therapy session at his house in 1988. The session was scheduled at a hospital, but Jones suggested that they meet at his house, the woman said. In a 1989 session, Jones allegedly cut her session short and exposed himself, telling the woman that she would have to perform oral sex if she wanted more time. The woman said she refused and started to cry; Jones left the room.

In an interview Tuesday, the woman said she is "very, very disappointed" by the judge's decision but could not comment further until she reads it.

Jones could not be reached for comment. His attorney, Paul Spackman, denied the patients' allegations.

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