FOX 6 Now Milwaukee
‘It was just dropped, like it never happened:’ Child psychiatrist still practicing after psychotic episode
By Bryan Polcyn
September 12, 2018
MEQUON — A Wisconsin psychiatrist pleaded insanity, and the court agreed, so how is she still practicing? …
In the spring of 2011, a mother took her three young children to a Naples, Florida beach, where a mentally unstable stranger mistook the children for her own.
“The woman was yelling ‘these are my kids. Jesus, these are my kids!'” said Ashli Minor, the mother of the three children.
Minor lives in Massachusetts and was on vacation in Naples when it happened. Collier County Sheriffs Office records describe her 8-year-old son as he ran “screaming” about a woman who witnesses say had “crazed” eyes. The stranger had grabbed the boy’s 9-year-old sister and 4-year-old brother as they played in the water, and refused to let go.
“stuck him in between her legs and was squeezing him, yelling, ‘these are my children. You’re not allowed to touch them,'” Minor recalled.
Witnesses say the plainly delusional woman was standing in two feet of water, gripping the children so tightly she left scratches on their arms. Minor feared she might drown them, and for at least two harrowing minutes, she pleaded with the woman to let her children go.
“The kids were, oh gosh, terrified — crying, shaking, looking at us as a parent to help them, and we were helpless,” Minor said, fighting back tears.
Kimberly Frank was charged with three felony counts of interference with custody. A Florida court later found her not guilty by reason of insanity.
In most cases, an insanity finding in a criminal case means the defendant is committed in mental health facility, but in Frank’s case, the Florida court instead released her on the condition that her psychiatric health be monitored. Before long, Doctor Frank went back to work in Wisconsin… as a child psychiatrist.
“Why is she still allowed to practice?” Minor wondered.
“Not just a psychiatrist. She is a child psychiatrist!” said Ken Kramer, a licensed private investigator in Florida.
Ken Kramer is a licensed private investigator in Florida and founder of PsychSearch.net, a clearinghouse of records and stories about psychiatrists in “hot water.”
Kramer is also the founder of Psychsearch.net, an online clearinghouse of information about psychiatrists accused of misconduct.
“Sometimes you see a case where it’s just like, ‘holy crap! Look at this!'” said Kramer…
“We see an awful lot of psychiatrists in hot water, but we seldom see anyone that was declared insane in court, and we never see one that was declared insane in court that was also having an active license to practice,” Kramer said.
In July, he filed a complaint with the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. That is the agency that licenses professionals in Wisconsin, including psychiatrists.
“Couple days ago, I got a response from Wisconsin that said, ‘oh no, we looked at this a couple years ago and we’re not doing anything about it,'” Kramer said.
Records obtained by the FOX6 Investigators show Dr. Frank had been acting strangely in the days leading up to the Florida incident. In March 2011, she called Mequon police to report a stalker outside her house. Police found only a city sewer crew. Around that same time, her ex-husband described an incident in which Frank drove her car into a ditch to get away from someone following her and her children. The kids later told their father no one had been following them. A short time later, she took time off of work and went to Florida.
“I was told she was down there at a retreat with her parents because she was having some psychotic issues and needed to regroup,” Minor said.
Dr. Frank currently sees children at Rogers Behavior Health in West Allis and 16th Street Community Health Center in MIlwaukee…
“To me, it’s all a bunch of baloney,” Kramer said…
Just a year after the incident, the Florida court released Dr. Frank from her monitoring requirements. When the state of Wisconsin offered a 10-year monitoring agreement, she rejected it, so in the fall of 2013, the state filed a formal complaint accusing Dr. Frank of unprofessional conduct. Five months after that, when her symptoms still had not resurfaced, the state reversed course and closed the file.
Today, there is no mention of it on the state’s licensing website because the state does not publish cases that are dismissed.
“No one contacted me. No lawyers, nothing. It was just dropped, like it never happened,” Minor said…
“That’s not fair to somebody who’s bringing their child to her,” Minor said.
Minor said she has a hard time imagining the woman who traumatized her children is treating someone else’s.
“I think it’s insane,” Minor said…