A state agency ready to restore a convicted child sex offender’s license suspended the decision during an emergency meeting Monday after legal action by the Attorney General’s office.
The Board of Chiropractic Examiners voted on October 24th last year to reinstate the license of Bryan K. Bajakian, 61, who practiced in Paramus before being convicted of bait and firearms charges.
State lawmakers slammed the ruling on Tuesday, threatening a revision of state law to make the board more “accountable” and transparent.
“The board’s decision is contrary to common sense and inconsistent with basic public safety standards,” said Sens. Joe Vitale, D-Middlesex, and Robert Singer, R-Ocean, in a joint statement. “We will consider reorganizing the Board of Directors to include more public members who focus on the public interest and fewer self-interested members from the chiropractic industry.”
The move to reinstate Bajakian was denied by Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, who on November 18 asked the board to postpone its decision as Bajakian was allowed to resume the practice immediately. The state alleged, in part, that the reinstatement vote was based on a flawed psychosexual report.
“The board’s decision was made without input from the state or Bajakian’s victims,” said Lisa Coryell, a consumer affairs spokeswoman who oversees the state’s bodies.
It was unclear why reinstatement was pending more than a year after the board’s decision to reinstate the license.
The attorney general’s office wasn’t sure the board would wait for the license to be reinstated. In a rare move, she filed a motion on Wednesday asking her to reverse her decision.
At Monday’s board meeting, the board agreed to wait for the license to be reinstated and “stated that it would reconsider its decision after duly notifying all parties,” Coryell said.
According to the state’s request, the doctor examining Bajakian for reinstatement did not have Bajakian’s full history. The board on Monday agreed to see Bajakian’s criminal record, the bulk of the prejudice report in his criminal case, previous chamber orders involving Bajakian, and the state’s amended verified complaint filed against Bajakian in April 2010.
“As stated in our reconsideration motion, a full review of the records and contributions of all parties and victims supports only one conclusion: Bajakian remains a threat and his license cannot be restored,” said Coryell.
Bajakian was charged in 2005 with, among other things, attempting to lure a child into a vehicle for sex. This emerges from a document that earlier this year the board had ordered him not to see any patients under the age of 18 without supervision.
The board temporarily suspended its license three years later and it was revoked in 2010. He turned down Bajakian’s request to reinstate his license in 2018, but voted unanimously to return his license to him on October 24, 2019, Grewal said.
Bajakian was convicted of seduction and firearms charges, according to court and prison records. He had attempted sex with children online, conducted child pornography and continued to see patients under the age of 18 unsupervised, according to the decision that revoked his license.
He is also “implicated in sexual misconduct against an underage patient” and is on life probation, according to Grewal’s office. Bajakian went to prison again in 2016 and was released from the South Correctional Facility in 2017, according to prison records.
Bajakian is also listed as a Registered Sex Offender in Florida.
Currently, only seven members of the eleven-member board have seats, four seats are still available. Individual board members did not respond to requests for comments.
Bajakian could not be reached for comment.
This was not the first time a chiropractor accused of sexual misconduct has been allowed to practice.
In 2016, the board allowed a Warren County chiropractor to continue treating female patients as long as they were supervised according to informed consent.
The attorney general had accused Edward Kramer Jr. of “inappropriate sexual contact” with two patients. Kramer denied wrongdoing.
The then Attorney General Christopher Porrino said Kramer should have lost his license.
“We are disappointed that the board has not approved us,” said Porrino at the time.
Kramer lost his license the following year after being charged with two cases of criminal fourth-degree sexual contact, according to state records. He agreed to participate in a pre-trial intervention program to lose his license, and he agreed to be permanently banned from holding a professional license in New Jersey, according to records.
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Karin Price Mueller can be reached at KPriceMueller@NJAdvanceMedia.com.
Blake Nelson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @BCunninghamN.