GOP CANDIDATE MARK HOLBROOK FALSELY ADVERTISING PSYCHOLOGIST CREDENTIALS TO VETERANS, LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS

GOP CANDIDATE MARK HOLBROOK FALSELY ADVERTISING PSYCHOLOGIST CREDENTIALS TO VETERANS, LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS

Grohman campaign files complaints with District Attorney, Attorney General, and Licensing Board

BIDDEFORD - The Grohman for Congress campaign today asked the Maine Attorney General’s office, the District Attorney for Cumberland County, and the Office of Professional and Financial Regulation (OPFR) to investigate Congressional candidate Mark Holbrook’s false portrayal of himself as a psychologist over the last three years.

Holbrook’s license to practice psychology was cancelled by the state of Maine in 2015.

According to state law, it is illegal to “profess to be or be presented to the public by any title incorporating the name ‘psychological,’ ‘psychologist’ or ‘psychology’” if one is not licensed as a psychologist. The statute can be viewed here. It is a crime to practice without a license or to represent to the public that one is authorized to do so. Specific penalties for this can be viewed here.

Holbrook is currently advertising psychology services specifically to veterans coping with combat trauma, as well as to law enforcement officers suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Holbrook even frames himself as a "Police Psychologist" on one of the web pages, and advertises "Forensic Psychology" on another.  Screen shots of the web pages’ online search listings can be seen below.

Holbrook's campaign website references him as a psychologist as well:

Additionally, Holbrook has been inaccurately described in scores of news articles over the course of two congressional campaigns, apparently without correction.
The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting made the claim that Holbrook is a "practicing clinical psychologist" in a profile dated October 5, and ascribed the following quote to Holbrook: 

"(As a practicing psychologist), I’ve been a grant reviewer for the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) for almost 10 years now."

And Holbrook allowed himself to be falsely introduced as a psychologist as recently as Monday evening, when WCSH's Pat Callaghan introduced him as such during a televised debate.

"Mark Holbrook is the Republican nominee. He is a Clinical Psychologist and has worked in law enforcement and many other fields."

As the statute states, it is specifically against the law to "be presented to the public" as a psychologist without a license. Holbrook has been presented to the public as a psychologist in hundreds of instances, in news print, on television, and online.

For example, Holbrook was described by WMTW in a 2016 candidate profile as "a clinical psychologist who works with police officers, members of the military and veterans," and again this year by WMTW as a "Brunswick psychologist."

The Grohman campaign today submitted formal complaints to the Attorney General, the District Attorney for Cumberland County, and OFPR, the licensing board with jurisdiction over psychologist credentialing.

"Mark Holbrook's lack of candor about his license status is deeply disturbing," said Riley Ploch, spokesperson for the Grohman for Congress campaign. "Advertising falsely to veterans and law enforcement officers who are struggling with serious mental conditions is shocking and unacceptable. We are calling on the proper authorities to act swiftly."

The Grohman campaign's official request for investigation is featured below.

The Honorable Janet T. Mills

Attorney General

6 State House Station

Augusta, Maine 04333

 

The Honorable Stephanie Anderson

Cumberland County District Attorney

142 Federal St.

Portland, ME 04101

 

Commissioner Anne Head

Department of Professional & Financial Regulation

35 State House Station

Augusta, Maine 04333

 

October 25, 2018

Dear Attorney General Mills, Commissioner Head, and District Attorney Anderson:

The following formal complaint is regarding congressional candidate Mark Holbrook’s misrepresentation of himself as a psychologist over a period of 3 years since his license to practice psychology was cancelled by the state of Maine in 2015.

We request that you investigate Holbrook’s record of advertising his false status as a psychologist. Specifically, his business website is featured in search engine listings with titles such as "Police Psychologist," "Forensic Psychologist," and "Psychologist - PTSD, Combat Trauma." These are overt and deceptive marketing ploys meant to attract clients who need psychological services to his practice.

In addition, we request that you investigate his record of allowing himself to be referred to as a psychologist in press reports regarding his multiple campaigns for office. Holbrook apparently has not requested that reports referring to him as a psychologist be corrected. Both actions are illegal.

According to state law, it is illegal to “profess to be or be presented to the public by any title incorporating the name "psychological," "psychologist" or "psychology” if one is not licensed as a psychologist. It is a crime to practice without a license or to represent to the public that one is authorized to do so.

It is important to note that Holbrook’s practice is geared toward police officers and veterans who have experienced trauma - a population who deserve respect and the best assistance they can find and afford, not false advertising and a multi-year record of misrepresenting the truth.

This is not a one-off mistake. This is a long term record of falsehoods aimed at deceiving the public and potential clients to profit from.

I urge that you investigate this matter thoroughly and swiftly. We are available to provide any information or resources you may need.

Sincerely,

Grohman for Congress