Douglas County School Board director discusses complaints filed against him

Complaint regarding psychotherapist license was dismissed, director says

Jessica Gibbs
jgibbs@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 4/26/22

Douglas County School Board Director David Ray says he has addressed a complaint filed against him with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies regarding his past use of certain mental health professional titles after his licenses expired.

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Douglas County School Board director discusses complaints filed against him

Complaint regarding psychotherapist license was dismissed, director says

Posted

Douglas County School Board Director David Ray says a complaint filed against him with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies regarding his past use of certain mental health professional titles was dismissed and that there was not any disciplinary action taken against him.

A former district parent, Denise Dirks, filed two complaints in February after realizing Ray’s email signature contained the title “LPCC,” which stands for Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate, and that his biography on the district website referred to him as a psychotherapist.

Dirks said she looked up Ray’s registrations, which is publicly available information on the state’s DORA website and saw his LPCC license expired in December 2020 while his psychotherapist license expired in 2017.

“As a former certified financial planner, I was pretty irritated,” she said, adding she has not used anything from a tote bag to business cards bearing the financial planner title since her certification lapsed.

Dirks said she grew frustrated with Ray while watching him refer to himself as a mental health professional in public meetings and call for the board to undergo restorative mitigation sessions to resolve disputes among directors.

Dirks said she spoke to an employee of DORA to understand if Ray’s ongoing use of the credentials was significant and was advised to make a complaint. She also wrote to the school board about her concerns. Board secretary Director Becky Myers acknowledged the board received Dirks’ emails, Dirks said. Ray did not respond, she said.

“Which is disappointing. He could have explained it. ‘Sorry guys, I just screwed up and didn’t update my biography,’” Dirks said.

Dirks said she gave public comment about the issue at the board's March meetings because no directors responded to her questions about the issue. There, she called on Ray to resign.

“He’s my representative and he’s misrepresenting himself and he can’t respond to me, so yeah, I think he needs to resign,” she said. “At the very minimum I think he needs to explain it and apologize.”

Ray told Colorado Community Media he did not publicly address the complaint, seeing it as “a smear tactic” during a tense period for the district in which multiple directors were under fire. He did not realize both his signature and biography were outdated, he said.

A letter from the Division of Professions and Occupations within DORA dated April 22 and provided to Colorado Community Media by Ray says the complaint regarding his psychotherapist license was dismissed.

"After thorough review and discussion, it was determined that there were insufficient grounds to warrant the commencement of formal disciplinary proceedings as required by the provisions of Colorado law," the letter states.

The decision cannot be appealed, the letter says.  Ray said he has reactivated his registration as a psychotherapist with the state since Dirks raised her complaint, although he has not been a practicing psychotherapist for roughly six years and does not intend to practice in the near future.

Ray said the board did not take any action regarding the matter, and that “not one director questioned me about it.” Board President Mike Peterson declined to comment on the complaint. DORA notified Ray about the complaint, but he said there are not any violations against his registration.

“DORA really didn’t give me any kind of direction or did not give me any kind of indication that there was a concern,” he said. “They just conveyed her concern to me, and I updated my biography and that was the end of it.”

This story has been updated .

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