Dubuque counselor charged with dependent adult abuse - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque counselor charged with dependent adult abuse

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The Iowa Board of Behavioral Science is charging one Dubuque mental health counselor with dependent adult abuse, a class D felony.

In a public document released this month, the board charged Dr. Lowell Routley with misusing funds from a special needs account set up on behalf of one of his clients. Routley had been appointed a trustee of that account in 2010.

According to the document, Routley began counseling the client, whom the document doesn't name, in 1998. The document goes on to allege the client went to Routley's home occasionally to spend time with him and his family.

Routley even created a fictitious birth certificate for the client that contained the phrase, "Lowell Daddy's Little Girl," the document says.

Then, in 2010, Routley was appointed a trustee of the client's special needs fund. After that, Routley occasionally took his client shopping.

On some occasions, the document says, Routley purchased items through the trust account for his own personal use, but then reimbursed the trust for these purchases. He also, in at least one instance, purchased items for the client with his own money and subsequently reimbursed himself from the trust.

More than once, Routley bought items for both himself and his client in the same transaction, the document says.

Finally, the document says, Routley used the trust account to pay for personal purchases when he lacked another method of payment.

Routley stopped counseling the client on Oct. 8, 2012.

On June 4, Routley was charged with dependent adult abuse, a class D felony. The board called his actions "unethical conduct."

The document says the matter may be resolved by a settlement agreement and gives the contact number of assistant attorney general Laura Cathelyn.

Routley's practice is the Routley Center for Solution-focused Counseling, PC, at 988 West Third Street, Suite 108 in Dubuque.

According to the document, Routley is scheduled to appear before the Iowa Board of Behavioral Science in Des Moines on Feb. 6.

Routley's license is currently active and expires on Sept. 30, 2014.

"At the hearing," the document explains, "you will be allowed the opportunity to respond to the charges against you, to produce evidence on your behalf on issues of material fact, cross-examine witnesses present at the hearing, and examine and respond to any documents introduced at the hearing."

KWWL reached out to Dr. Routley for his response to the board's allegations and is waiting to hear back from him.

The Bureau of Professional Licensure is a bureau within the Iowa Department of Public Health. It has 19 licensure boards that regulates 39 professions.

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