Psychology board files charges against Fairfield man

The Iowa Board of Psychology has filed charges against a Fairfield psychologist.

The psychologist is John Edgette, and the board is charging him with two counts: violating the terms of an initial agreement with the impaired practitioner review committee; and failure of a licensee to practice with reasonable skill and safety by reason of the excessive use of alcohol on a continuing basis.

The Iowa Board of Psychology filed the charges against Edgette on Dec. 21. His hearing before the board is scheduled for Feb. 1. Edgette has the option of making his hearing private or open to the public.

On Jan. 26, 2017, Edgette was convicted of operating while under the influence of alcohol in Jefferson County. The board alleges that Edgette consumed alcohol while at work in September 2017, for which he was referred to the Impaired Practitioner Program.

In February 2018, Edgette entered into an initial agreement with the Impaired Practitioner Review Committee.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health’s website, the Impaired Practitioner Program is a confidential program designed to monitor the evaluation, treatment and recovery of health care professionals who have conditions that may impair their ability to practice without some type of intervention.

The IPP is both an advocate for impaired licensees and a means to protect the health and safety of the public. The IPP is designed to assist licensees with successfully recovering from or managing their impairment so that they may continue to safely practice their profession.

Licensees who are eligible for the program are asked to sign a contract which includes the terms under which the licensee will be monitored. The contract also provides that if a licensee violates the terms of the contract, their case file may be forwarded to their licensing board for possible disciplinary action.

Pursuant to the agreement Edgette had with the IP review committee, he was required to abstain from alcohol and participate in chemical testing. However, the board alleges that on multiple occasions, Edgette tested positive for alcohol or alcohol metabolites, missed scheduled tests and missed mandatory check-ins with the chemical screening program. For this, Edgette was referred back to the board for noncompliance with the Impaired Practitioner Program.

The Ledger attempted to reach Edgette for comment by calling his office phone. His answering machine indicates that he is on sabbatical from Jan. 1 of this year until Jan. 1, 2020. The message states that because of where he is traveling, he will not have access to voice mail, text or email. He concludes his message by saying, “I look forward to perhaps connecting with you in 2020.”