Attorney general's office says it 'had nothing to do with' cease-and-desist letter sent to John Rosemond

raretakis@herald-leader.comJuly 22, 2013 

An attorney in Attorney General Jack Conway's office "inadvertently" printed a cease-and-desist affidavit on official letterhead when he threatened legal action against nationally syndicated parenting columnist John Rosemond, according to a statement from the attorney general's office Monday.

The statement said Conway's office "had nothing to do with" the affidavit sent by Brian T. Judy, an assistant attorney general who is also counsel to the Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology.

"I did not write that letter," Conway said in the statement. "I did not authorize that letter, and the letter was not sent on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General."

Judy wrote a letter to Rosemond in May, requesting that Rosemond stop labeling himself as a psychologist and engaging in the "practice of psychology" without a state license.

"The Office of the Attorney General represents the Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology," Judy wrote in the letter to Rosemond. "The office assists the Board regarding the standards set forth ... ."

Rosemond, a licensed psychological associate in North Carolina, is a nationally syndicated columnist whose articles appear in more than 200 newspapers nationwide, including the Lexington Herald-Leader. He identifies himself as a "family psychologist" at the end of his columns.

Rosemond sued the psychology board and the Office of the Attorney General in federal court on July 16 for violations of his right to free speech, claiming they attempted to censor his column. His traditional, anti-coddling approach to parenting has been the cause of controversy in the past. On Friday, the board agreed not to pursue legal action against Rosemond until his federal case is resolved.

Though Conway did not sign the letter to Rosemond, his name was printed above Judy's signature.

Allison Martin, spokeswoman for the Office of the Attorney General, said Conway's name was just part of the standard letterhead.

The attorneys in the office usually represent several state boards, she said, and Judy did not follow proper procedure.

"All attorneys in the Office of the Attorney General have been reminded that if they are doing business on behalf of a board, they should use the letterhead of that board," according to the statement.

Conway issued the statement Monday due to "erroneous editorials that appeared this weekend in various papers," Martin said.

Rachel Aretakis: (859) 231-3197. Twitter: @heraldleader.

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