Local News

Lawyers fired after board criticized for sex assault claims

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Two attorneys for Louisiana's physical therapist licensing board are being fired after withering criticism from state lawmakers over the board's handling of sexual misconduct cases.

The Louisiana Physical Therapy Board decided Thursday to terminate contracts for lawyers George Papale and Courtney Newton, Papale's daughter.

The Advocate reports both handled complaints of sexual misconduct cases against licensed physical therapists.

Thursday's decision came a day after senators skewered the board for failing to revoke licenses after physical therapists settled charges of sexual misconduct with patients.

Baton Rouge physical therapist Philippe Veeters is charged with sexual battery and accused of assaulting nine patients.

His license was suspended for nine months. Sen. J.P. Morrell called that equivalent to a "slap on the wrist."

Newton defended the board's disciplinary actions, pointing to due process requirements.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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