NYS Office of Professions does not consider well-established knowledge of death to be reliable

UPDATE (2018) James Garrett has been recorded as DECEASED by NYS Office of Professions. ARISE Network and NYS Office of Professions still suggest that it may be a case of ‘mistaken identity’. Samaritan Counseling and NYS Office of Professional Discipline have not acknowledged Garrett’s Class A Misdemeanor conviction in 2014.



The state police must have contacted NYS OPD, because this includes information that I only spoke to the state police investigator Baskerville about, involving the possibility of fraud to be committed with a license that should not exist, as if I had made those allegations. My only seriously actionable allegation was that the license is invalid and should be closed, according the NYS OP website, to prevent further fraud.

So, for some reason New York State Office of Professions is digging in its heels when it comes to changing a database record about the fact that this guy is dead.

The odd thing is that they acknowledge his death but don’t acknowledge themselves, or coroner’s office, or me (who all know he’s dead) as reliable:

“If the Department has received reliable notice of the death of a licensee, that record is marked DECEASED. ”

Source: http://www.op.nysed.gov/help.htm#status

“Dear Mr. Tom Gleason:

Our office received your conduct email complaint specific to LCSW James Garrett. My office has already addressed your complaints specific to Samaritan Counseling Center as well as your prior therapist, Ona [sic “Oona”] Edmands in 2016. The email forwarded now continues to discuss your issues with that program and the staff you were involved in however you allege that this agency is still billing under a former employees license, specifically James Garrett LCSW. However, there was no examples or evidence base for this allegation, such as a current bill submitted to an insurance provider under his name and license number. Do you have such evidence? I ask because this would be a criminal matter and we would encourage you to file a complaint with the local authorities. If another licensed professional is fraudulently using Mr. Garrett’s license number than we would investigate that licensed professional for fraud; however you did not provide any evidence at all that Mr. Garrett’s license is being used fraudulently. Based on your letter the only evidence you have that this is occurring is because NYSED still has his license listed and he is still actively registered. The division for professional licensing cannot take away or de-activate someone license based on a report of death. My office did confirm that James Garrett LCSW did pass in 2017; however his registration was already renewed for that time period. DPLS (licensing) requires that upon death of a licensee the immediate family must contact them and provide a copy of the death certificate in order for them to de-activate his registration. He is currently registered until 6 of 2019. His license will become inactive after 6/2019 even if his family does not provide proof of death for he can not renew due to being deceased. I just wanted to let you know that we (OPD)are aware of his passing but in order for his registration to practice under that license number to be revoked the immediate family member must make notifications and send proof of death.

So, if you have actual tangible evidence that someone is using his license number to practice or bill please forward that evidence to my attention at this office, or bring it to your local police department if you want criminal charges pursued.


Deborah Sansone

Supervising Investigator

NYSED-Office of Professional Discipline

80 Wolf Road, Sutie 204

Albany, NY 12205



She referred me to the DPLS office who told me that James Garrett would get no communications for a renewal. He would not answer my question and then hung up on me when I asked repeatedly if the website would be updated. The guy sounded intoxicated. I haven’t got in touch with anyone who will answer my question to Deborah Sansone about where it says that ‘reliable notice’ means ‘next of kin’.

Here is the original complaint sent to NYS Police, who then called me to tell them my story, and I explained how a common form of insurance fraud is the business use of a credentialed individual’s license while s/he just ‘signs off’ on it. My specific complaint was just that the ARISE Intervention Network denied his death, which could only have been to make me feel crazy again, or to make people doubt my information if a whole network of professionals is saying I have no idea who I’m talking about.

“Dear Trooper Cepiel,

I’ve been trying to reach the offices of former Samaritan Counseling Clinical Director Jenness Clairmont or Oona Edmands (witnesses to addiction treatment crimes) for at least 4 years now without any success regarding a fraud scheme at Recovery Resource Center in Albany NY. It is possibly still ongoing, because the LCSW-R license for James Garrett still exists.

I have reported his death to the Office of Professions, and they refuse to acknowledge it and close the license to prevent potential insurance fraud. The ARISE Intervention Network has in fact publicly stated that he is still alive, which appears to be a completely false statement with no purpose other than to deny involvement with felony charges publicized in the Daily Gazette.

OASAS has refused to acknowledge any reason for the complete disappearance of his CASAC license, or to acknowledge that he was charged with five felony counts by state police (which would legitimize my similar complaints which have been so far dismissed as nonsense).

It is not clear that my complaints have been investigated properly by the NYS OMH or Education Department, so I am hoping the state police can get involved.

Here is the situation:

AFTER he was charged with five felonies (in Jan 2014) for offering a false instrument for filing, and BEFORE I was terminate-referred to him repeatedly by the LCSW Oona Edmands, there were several indications that James Garrett was using his status as ‘expert’ to interfere in my attempts to communicate with the mandated reporter and witness Oona Edmands about what I was realizing to be an ‘addiction treatment’ scam he was running.

I was never able to communicate the situation to the mandated reporter, specifically because of how his scam worked to block me from doing that.

The methods he used to isolate me from mandated reporters were:

1. Reinforcement of ‘intervention’ ‘contract’ (telling my family and other LCSWs to terminate or ignore me unless I was paying him to ‘monitor my sobriety’ — essentially just paying him to NOT create ‘consequences’ for leaving his ‘gradually escalating’ ‘treatment’ requirements– aka a ‘racket’).

2. Suggesting my attempts to complain about his scam were just imaginations, manipulations or ‘disease’ symptoms. Yet, state police charged him with five felonies for offering a false instrument for filing, so obviously there were other people who saw a serious problem with how he conducted his business.

I did not know about the charges brought against him at the time by state police, and it is not clear that Oona Edmands, LCSW did either. That case happened to be in the exact same time frame as my very similar experiences with him, and I wasn’t aware of it until last year when I found it in the Daily Gazette.

3. Describing my preferred therapist, Oona Edmands, as unqualified or ‘not equipped’ to deal with an ‘alcoholic’, and portraying her ‘codependence’ as a danger to my ‘Recovery’, which made her incompetent to function as a mandated reporter in support of my best interest without fear of malpractice.

It was apparent to me that Oona Edmands, unwilling to be involved any further in the situation or to report it, therefore abandoned me to this fraudulent treatment instead of acting as a mandated reporter; therefore, the problem was never correctly addressed.

I would like the state police to investigate Recovery Resource Center of Albany NY, which is still running in some capacity despite James Garrett’s death, while his death is being denied by the ARISE Network. Again, I suspect the fraud scheme is still active in some way.

I would also like the police to contact the NYS Office of Professional Discipline to ensure that they are aware of the death of James Garrett and close out his license to help prevent further fraud.

Tom Gleason”

NYS OPD then sent me this message:

“Prior to passing the licensee renewed his license. The renewal is always a three year period. Since he renewed in 2016 and paid for this renewal he will show up as licensed and active until July of 2019. His renewal being due in 2019, either a family member will forward his death certificate as evidence of his not renewing and DPLS will automatically change his status from active to not active. The web will not he is deceased when DPLS receives the documentation they require. If you have any additional questions regarding their policies I would suggest you contact The Division of Professional Licensing at our education department in Albany.

In reference to other professionals in the field referencing an alive James Garrett who is a social worker, this is not evidence of his specific license being used fraudulently by anyone or any agency. In NY state alone there are numerous licensed professionals in the mental health fields by that name.

As indicated above you can contact NYSED at 518-487-3817, I believe it’s extension 340 for DPLS.

Deborah Sansone

Supervising Investigator

NYSED-Office of Professional Discipline

80 Wolf Road, Sutie 204

Albany, NY 12205



There are not numerous LCSW’s by the name of James Garrett in NYS. There is only one: http://www.nysed.gov/coms/op001/opsc2a?profcd=73&plicno=020876&namechk=GAR

I then contacted DPLS, and they sent me to the Archive and Records Department. When I talked to the guy on the phone, he just said “send an obituary or death certificate, and we’ll update our records”. I thought I had made some progress. I sent them the confirmation of death by NYS OPD, and his obituary:

Here is confirmation from NYS OPD (forwarded statements) and an obituary, requesting that the license of James Garrett LCSW-R http://www.nysed.gov/coms/op001/opsc2a?profcd=73&plicno=020876&namechk=GAR be marked as deceased as per this NYSED license status page http://www.op.nysed.gov/help.htm#status which states: “If the Department has received reliable notice of the death of a licensee, that record is marked DECEASED.”



No response. I emailed asking for confirmation that they had received my communication. No response.