By Team

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – The state health department has issued an emergency order restricting the license of Clinton Eugene Sims to work as a school psychologist, alleging that the Clermont man had sex with a patient who was a former student he counseled.

“Dr. Sims’ actions and disregard for the health of Patient J.C. show that he does not have the judgment or moral character to hold a position of power and trust,”  the department wrote in Wednesday’s emergency order signed by the Department of Health Secretary Scott Rivkees.

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The order also said, ”Dr. Sims’ blatant disregard for the laws and rules regulating his profession indicates that this behavior is likely to continue.” Sims can appeal the emergency order, which prohibits him from practicing as a school psychologist with female clients.

Attempts to contact Sims were not immediately successful. Sims started counseling the woman, identified only by the initials J.C., in February 2016 when she was a 15-year-old student at Montverde Academy, the order said. J.C. eventually transferred from the school but continued to seek treatment from Sims in his private office through 2020, according to the order.

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Sims allegedly told J.C. in 2019 that he thought she was attractive and the state alleges that Sims had sex with her in December 2020 and January 2021.

According to the emergency order, Sims sent several sexually explicit messages to J.C. Florida law allows Rivkees, the state surgeon general, to restrict a health care provider’s license upon a finding that the person poses an immediate danger to public health, safety, or welfare.

While the state considered pursuing less restrictive steps, such as requiring that Sims meet with female patients via telehealth, the order said: “the nature of this violation derived from the trust Dr. Sims gained during the professional relationship with patient J.C. Trust between a school psychologist and a patient can be generated and acted on during telemedicine appointments which render telemedicine ineffective to hinder such violations.”

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