Milford psychologist pays fine for ethics violation

Manuel Rosales, of Milford, a former supervising psychologist at the Greater Bridgeport Community Mental Health Center Department – a state facility operated by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) — paid a $5,000 penalty for violating Sections 1-84(b) and (c) of the Code of Ethics ($3,500 for his violations of Section 1-84 (c) and $1,500 for his violations of Section 1-84 (b)), according to a press release from the Connecticut Office of State Ethics.

From 2010 through 2014, while a state employee, Rosales owned and operated a private clinical practice where he was compensated for providing private clinical services. During that time period, Dr. Rosales used state resources, including his state-issued computer, state-provided e-mail account, and state-provided office space, to conduct his private business, according to the Connecticut Office of State Ethics. Under Section 1-84 (c) of the Code, a public official or state employee is prohibited from using his state position, including state resources and offices, to obtain personal financial gain, officials said.

Rosales also violated Section 1-84 (b) which prohibits a public official or state employee from accepting outside employment that will impair his independence of judgment as to his official duties or employment. According to a press release from the Office of State Ethics, on several occasions, Rosales performed psychological evaluations in his private capacity on individuals who were, at the same time, clients of DMHAS. His private evaluation of DMHAS clients had a clear possibility of affecting the DMHAS clients’ access to state funds and services, thereby impairing his judgment as to his state responsibilities, officials said.

Additionally, the investigation revealed, Rosales took on clients in his private practice who were referred to him by DMHAS employees.

“State employees, who turn their offices into private, for-profit businesses will face significant penalties,” said Executive Director Carol Carson.

Through a separate but related personnel action, Rosales lost his state position and is no longer a state employee, officials said.