Board disciplines social workers

  • Article by: JANE FRIEDMANN
  • Updated: February 28, 2011 - 3:34 PM

One social worker couldn't explain how he spent a client's money. Another left clients outside for seven hours in November. A man who works with domestic violence victims improperly disclosed private information about them.

These were among the nine social workers who were subject to disciplinary action in 2010, according to the Minnesota Board of Social Work. I ranked them by severity of discipline.

More than 11,000 social workers currently hold state licenses. The board opened 126 investigations in 2010.

Donald Peterson-Burr, St. Cloud

License surrendered

Peterson-Burr, who worked at a nursing and rehab center, was given $1,000 to buy bedding and clothing for a client. When his employer asked about the purchases, he produced some clothing that appeared to be used and said he couldn't find the receipts.

Joseph S. Duncan, Socorro

Suspension

The board reaffirmed a 2009 order that suspended Duncan's license until he submitted to a mental health evaluation. Duncan had contested the order, but a judge sided with the board.

The 2009 order said Duncan felt he was being stalked by former co-workers and that people were taping his conversations and drilling holes in his house.

Lyle G. Elenkiwich, Ham Lake

Stayed suspension, reprimand

On two occasions, his employer discovered he was double-billing Medical Assistance.

While licensed in South Dakota in 2001, he was convicted of "theft and conversion" for using the wrong codes to bill Medicare patients.

Elenkiwich agreed to course work and audits.

David E. Johnson, Roseville

Reprimand

He engaged in unlicensed social work for the Salvation Army in 2009 and 2010.

Elizabeth B. Langlais-Sick, Dayton

Reprimand

She drove several vulnerable adult clients to their residence at about 3 p.m. one fall day. She said she saw the clients enter the building. But seven hours later, a staff member arriving for work found them outside the locked facility.

Cynthia A. Louis, Litchfield

Reprimand

She failed to report a case of possible child abuse.

Barbara A. Miron, Duluth

Reprimand

She was practicing social work without a plan in place to satisfy state supervision requirements.

David J. Mathews, Maplewood

Agreement for corrective action

While working with victims of domestic abuse, he disclosed confidential information without permission. He agreed to take a class on client confidentiality.

Cynthia K. Muggli, Oklee

Agreement for corrective action

Muggli let a group-home client hug her, but disengaged when she realized the client had feelings for her. She failed to speak with his case manager about it. After his discharge, Muggli let him stay at her grandfather's farm. In December, the board closed her case after she met the terms of the agreement, which included course work.

Three social workers agreed to cease practice in 2010 rather than face discipline.

Steven D. Bloom, St. Paul

Agreed to cease practice

He may seek reinstatement after the resolution of allegations that he had inappropriate relationships with students while working at Roseville Area High School.

Stephen J. Eisenreich, Richmond

Agreed to cease practice

He may seek reinstatement upon proof he is maintaining his sobriety and has complied with terms of a monitoring program.

Thomas L. Price, Apple Valley

Agreed to cease practice

He may seek reinstatement after medical and mental health professionals decide he is fit to practice and after the resolution of investigations related to two search warrants executed at his office.

Hard Data digs into public records and puts a spotlight on rule breakers in the Twin Cities and Minnesota. Contact me at jfriedmann@startribune.com.

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