Paul E. Rogers, Jackson, attorney for appellant.
Leyser Q. Hayes, attorney for appellee.
Before IRVING, P.J., ROBERTS and JAMES, JJ.
¶ 1. The Mississippi State Board of Examiners for Licensed Professional Counselors (Board) denied Carl Ray Hale's application for reinstatement of his license as a professional counselor. Hale appealed to the Madison County Circuit Court, which affirmed. Hale now appeals the judgment of the circuit court, arguing the Board's decision was not supported by substantial evidence and was arbitrary and capricious. We find no error and affirm.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
¶ 2. On June 6, 1997, Hale, a licensed professional counselor (LPC), pled guilty to charges of billing and submitting false insurance claims to the federal government. Upon advice of counsel, Hale surrendered his license on June 27, 1997. Hale was placed on probation for five years and was prohibited from participating in Medicaid, Medicare, or any other federal health-care programs.
¶ 3. At the time of his arrest, Hale was under investigation by the Board due to complaints that had been filed against him. The first complaint alleged that Hale was engaged in inappropriate and intimate relationships with three of his patients. Another complaint pertained to a newspaper article in which Hale falsely represented himself as a licensed clinical psychologist in an ad for his practice. The record also shows that Hale distributed business cards representing the same false credentials.
¶ 4. Hale was found to have violated his probation on multiple occasions. In 2002, he was arrested for embezzlement, and on another occasion, he was arrested for stealing several records from a music store where he was employed. Hale served time in prison and was released in 2003.
¶ 5. On August 2, 2010, Hale applied to the Board to have his license reinstated. On January 4, 2011, the Board issued Hale a notice advising him that he would be afforded a hearing to allow him to show cause as to why his application should not be denied.
¶ 6. At the hearing, Hale testified on his own behalf, in addition to several character and professional witnesses. Following the hearing, the Board denied Hale's application. An order to that effect was issued on September 28, 2011. Hale appealed to the Madison County Circuit Court, which affirmed. Hale now appeals to this Court.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
¶ 7. " The decision of an administrative agency is not to be disturbed unless the agency order was unsupported by substantial evidence, was arbitrary or capricious, was beyond the agency's scope or powers, or violated the ...