Shelby County deputies to be re-screened after state discovers psychologist not licensed

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Sheriff's Office confirmed Friday afternoon that more than 200 of its deputies will have to complete a second psychological evaluation because the state says the person performing some of the initial screenings is not licensed.

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance confirmed that POST, the Peace Officer Standards & Training Commission, discovered in December that Dr. Charles Kenny has not been licensed as a psychologist in Tennessee since 2001.

The state said it learned from the Shelby County Sheriff's Office that Kenny had been doing the psychological evaluations since 2014.

A source told WREG 264 deputies were notified Friday that they would have 90 days to complete another screening. If they fail, the source said they were told they'd lose their jobs.

"POST accepted the earlier SCSO psychological evaluations as being properly conducted by a qualified mental health professional until we learned otherwise," TDCI's spokesman wrote in an email. "Shelby County has begun the process to employ a new examiner and implement a new methodology to have the proper examinations performed for the officers."

Mike Lewis, Human Resources administrator with Shelby County said the county's 2013 standard pre-employment process required for new deputies was flawed, resulting in the need for additional psychological testing.

The re-testing of deputies hired under that process is underway, Lewis said.

Kenny is listed as the president of a marketing firm called The Right Brain People. Its website boasts 600 big-name clients including Walmart and McDonald's and offers to "uncover the emotional connection between your brand and your consumers."

When WREG tried asking Kenny about his qualifications Friday, he said, "I can't talk to you. I'm sorry."

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