October 4, 2013 Updated: October 4, 2013 at 7:53 am
Two weeks after The Gazette showed businesses tied to disgraced psychotherapist Edwin Shockney were making sketchy claims backed up by hollow certification organizations, one of the businesses has shut down its website and stopped answering phones. The other lost its chief operating officer.
Shockney was stripped of his license as a professional counselor in 2011 when The Gazette revealed that he lied for years about his credentials. In 2013 he created a corporation called HDMS-Global that allowed him to offer psychological services without revealing his name. Shockney did not respond to The Gazette's requests for an interview but HDMS-Global's website was taken down late last week.
Shockney is also on the board of a company called Guardian Patient Advocates that charges clients for third-party medical advice and claims to be certified by a board that The Gazette showed was its own creation. The company's chief operating officer was Neil Warnock, a Washington health care consultant. The Gazette revealed that Warnock claimed to be a medical doctor but is a nurse's aide with a lapsed license. Last week Warnock left the company.
"He was busy with other things, he doesn't have time," company CEO Bert Burgland said Tuesday of Warnock's departure.
Warnock did not respond to requests for comment.
Shockney remains on the company's board. Burgland said he did not dismiss Shockney after The Gazette's revelations, because "I have known him for many years and I have never had any reason to doubt him."
Burgland said Guardian Patient Advocates, which has no clients, plans to stay in business with Shockney on the board. "Our intentions are good - to provide guidance for people," he said. "We plan to continue."
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