The Maryland attorney general's office will ask Prince George's County authorities to press criminal charges against a Baptist minister who allegedly practiced psychology at a counseling center and signed patient insurance claims without the proper credentials, an official said yesterday.
The request to charge the Rev. Edward William Brandt III for practicing without a license was spurred by written complaints to the state Board of Psychologists from two individuals, one of whom found that Brandt had lied on his resume, according to Assistant Attorney General Barbara Foster.
The six-member regulatory board monitors licensing procedures and ethics of the state's estimated 1,400 psychologists.
Foster, who reviewed the board's findings, said she will ask Prince George's State's Attorney Arthur A. Marshall Jr. to charge Brandt with violating the state psychologists act. Marshall was out of town yesterday and could not be reached for comment.
Attempts yesterday to reach Brandt and his attorney were unsuccessful.
In Maryland, practicing psychology without a license is a misdemeanor and is subject to a $500 fine and six months in jail.
The act, which was passed by the state legislature in 1957, requires that candidates earn a doctoral degree in psychology or the equivalent, pass two state exams administered by the board and work as a psychologist for two years before being licensed.
Dr. S. Michael Plaut, chairman of the psychology board that took up the matter yesterday, said: "The board is quite concerned that someone would misrepresent himself in this fashion. It is unfair to the people of the state."
The request comes four weeks after Brandt was forced to resign from the First Baptist Church of Carrollton in Riverdale after an investigation by the church's administrative body determined that Brandt had neither earned three advanced degrees nor served as a psychology consultant at four clinics and hospitals as he had reportedly claimed.
The Christian Counseling Center, which Brandt managed at the church, was set up to treat emotional and psychological problems and was open to the public. Two other therapists, one of whom is a minister at the church, were employed there.
In the brochure advertising the center, Brandt claimed to have earned a degree in pastoral psychology from Harvard Divinity School, a PhD in clinical psychology and public practice from Harvard University and a master's degree in pastoral theology from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington.