Fairfield psychologist surrenders license

A Fairfield man who formerly practiced psychology has had his license suspended indefinitely.

Psychologist John Edgette entered into an agreement with the Iowa Board of Psychology on Feb. 1 whereby his license would be suspended indefinitely until he completes a comprehensive substance abuse evaluation and a host of other tasks associated with overcoming substance abuse. For instance, Edgette must demonstrate 12 continuous months of sobriety and submit an evaluation from a licensed provider specializing in addiction stating that he is fit to practice as a psychologist.

If Edgette completes those conditions, he will be issued a license on a probationary period of three years, during which time he must abstain from drugs and alcohol, submit to chemical screening, and attend recovering meetings twice weekly.

Edgette was entitled to a hearing before the Iowa Board of Psychology on Feb. 1. However, Edgette waived his right to a hearing and entered into the settlement instead.

In December, the Iowa Board of Psychology charged Edgette 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.

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.

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 today 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.”