State suspends IC psychologist accused of sexual misconduct

LANSING — An Iron County psychologist has been summarily suspended for reported sexual misconduct with patients, according to a news release from Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Michael Varney owns and works at Superior Psychological, which has offices in Caspian, Kingsford and Marquette.

Varney reportedly behaved inappropriately with 10 patients dating back to 2009 by sending sexually suggestive and inappropriate messages, requesting sexually suggestive photos, providing prescription pills in exchange for sexual contact, and divulging confidential information about other patients, according to the release.

This conduct violates nine counts of the Public Health Code, including providing practice-related services in exchange for sexual favors, sexual conduct with a patient while acting within the health profession, betrayal of professional confidence, negligence, incompetence, and lack of good moral character, the release states.

The Michigan Public Health Code provides for summary suspension of licenses when the public health, safety, or welfare requires emergency action. The summary suspension and administrative complaint is strictly an action on Varney’s psychology license in Michigan, according to the release.

LARA encourages all concerned residents, patients, parents and peers to file complaints against health professionals who they suspect are a risk to public health, safety or welfare.