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AG Nessel and LARA Director Hawks: Former Priest's License Revoked at Board of Counseling Meeting

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) Director Orlene Hawks praised today’s move by the Michigan Board of Counseling to revoke the educationally limited counselor’s license of Lawrence Ventline, a former priest with the Archdiocese of Detroit accused of sexually assaulting a young boy. Ventline was also fined $5,000.

The Board’s action today follows LARA’s summary suspension of Ventline’s license in May after an administrative complaint was filed by the Attorney General’s Office with LARA for allegations of sexual assault.

Ventline failed to file a formal response to the complaint. Under the Public Health Code, when a defendant does not respond to a complaint, the board considers the allegations to be undisputed and true.

“Unfortunately, the statute of limitations bars us from prosecuting Mr. Ventline for any crimes we believe he may have committed,” said Nessel. “However, today’s action by the Michigan Board of Counselors ensures that he cannot use his counseling license to lure in and abuse vulnerable patients, including young children. We are grateful for our continued partnership with LARA to help ensure the safety and welfare of our residents.”

“LARA remains focused on holding our health professionals accountable and we’re pleased that the board decided to revoke the counselor’s license,” said LARA Director Orlene Hawks. “We will continue to work closely with Attorney General Nessel and her team to protect Michigan patients from licensees who violate the law.”

Nessel reminded Michigan residents today that if they have any information regarding alleged abuse involving Ventline or any clergy member to file a confidential complaint online or by calling 844-324-3374.

LARA encourages all concerned residents, patients, parents, and peers to file complaints against licensed health professionals who may allegedly be risking public health, safety or welfare.  For more information on filing a complaint with the department, visit the Professional Licensing website or review the Citizen’s Guide to Filing a Complaint.

A copy of the administrative complaint filed against Ventline can be read here.