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Sandy psychiatrist faces legal charges

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SANDY — The Salt Lake District Attorney's Office Thursday filed charges against a psychiatrist here accused of practicing without a license.

Dr. Jonathan Mark Purvin was charged in 3rd District Court with one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and two counts of unlawful professional conduct. All charges are felonies.

Purvin was arrested and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Aug. 31 by Sandy police after officers received complaints of him practicing medicine and prescribing medication without a license.

An undercover Sandy police officer sent to Purvin's office, 9557 S. 700 East, was able to pay $200 for an appointment, according to court documents. Purvin then made an evaluation of a medical problem and prescribed medications to the officer, court documents stated.

A search warrant served after Purvin was arrested uncovered more controlled substances, court documents stated. He was released from jail on his own recognizance Wednesday.

Purvin's license was suspended Aug. 9 after he refused to release the results of a psychological evaluation conducted on him in Kansas, said Department of Commerce spokesman Scott Thompson. The evaluation was requested by the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing after Purvin allegedly had an affair with one patient and advised another to commit suicide.

The board told Purvin he either had to do the evaluation again or release the results of the first test. His license was suspended when he refused to do either, Thompson said.

A letter by the board to Purvin Aug. 3 said the Physicians Licensing Board had reviewed evidence of psychological impairment and behavioral disorder. The board concluded "there is reasonable cause to believe that (Purvin) is mentally ill or incapacitated or otherwise unable to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety."

A petition filed by the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing in September accused Purvin of providing unmonitored refills and undocumented quantities of medications to a female patient between Nov. 22, 1996 and Nov. 27, 1999.

During that time, Purvin is accused of having an affair with the woman, according to the petition. He also continued to prescribe medication not in the woman's "best interests," the petition stated.

Between Nov. 26, 1996 and July 21, 2000, Purvin advised another patient he was treating for depression and anxiety to consider committing suicide after his elderly mother died because he was so dependent on her, according to the petition. Purvin told the man to consume all of his medications at once, tie a plastic bag around his head and then try to relax on his bed, the petition stated.

E-MAIL: preavy@desnews.com