S.D. Gov. Summoned Licensing Head after Daughter’s Denial
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem summoned the woman who ran the state’s Appraiser Certification Program to her office just days after Noem’s daughter was denied a real estate appraiser certification. According to the Associated Press, Noem called certification program head Sherry Bren to her office in July 2020 along with her supervisor and Noem’s daughter, among others. Noem’s daughter ultimately obtained certification in November 2020, and the next week the labor secretary demanded Bren’s retirement, according to an age discrimination complaint Bren filed against the department. Bren ultimately retired, and the state paid her $200,000 to withdraw the complaint.
Ohio Doctor Keeps License Despite Magnetic-Vaccine Claim
Ohio’s medical board has renewed the license of an osteopathic physician who claimed that COVID vaccines magnetize recipients and interface with 5G cellphone towers, according to the Ohio Capital Journal. Sherri Tenpenny, an anti-vaccine activist, made the claims this summer while speaking to the Ohio House Health Committee. State law allows the board to discipline physicians who make “false, fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading” statements about the practice of medicine. Though the board automatically renews licenses, a spokesman said the medical board can take disciplinary action separately.
Calif. Bar Gives Preliminary OK to Nonlawyer Licensing
The State Bar of California’s Board of Trustees on Sept. 23 gave preliminary approval to a paraprofessional program for trained non-lawyers by voting to gather public comments, according to Reuters. If approved, the program would allow trained nonlawyers to offer legal advice in limited settings, such as consumer debt. If the State Bar of California approves the program after the comment period, the proposal must gain the approval of the California Supreme Court and the state Legislature.
Texas Doc Accused of Vaccine Theft Sues for Discrimination
A Texas doctor fired for allegedly stealing COVID vaccines to administer to family and friends has sued his former employer for discrimination. According to the Associated Press, Hasan Gokal said his supervisor with the Harris County Public Health Department accused him of distributing too many doses of the vaccine to people of South Asian origin on the first night of the Moderna vaccine rollout. He was subsequently fired. In fact, says Gokal, he made late-night calls to people he knew, including his wife, after volunteers and police at the rollout declined vaccines. He said he wanted to make sure they were used. A grand jury and the state licensing board cleared Gokal.
Ariz. Gov. Fires Massage Board after Investigation
Following a newspaper investigation of sexual abuse in the massage industry, Ariz. Gov. Doug Doucey replaced all members of the State Board of Massage Therapy in September. An investigation by The Arizona Republic found that about 100 massage therapists have faced board complaints for sexual impropriety involving clients over the past eight years. About half retained their licenses. According to the Central Recorder, the five-member licensing board oversees 10,600 massage therapists.
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