Secretary of State Kemp Announces Citations in Macon and Metro-Atlanta Massage Therapy Inspection Operation
Atlanta – Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced today that on July 8, 2010, investigators from his agency’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted a sweeping inspection operation of businesses offering massage for pay in Macon and six counties in the Metro-Atlanta region. In addition, the OIG notified owners and employees about changes in Georgia law applying to owners of business that employee people to do massage therapy.
Under a 2010 amendment to the Georgia Massage Therapy Practice Act supported by Secretary Kemp, it is now illegal for the owner or operator of a business where massage therapy is performed to employ unlicensed therapists or to provide or offer massage therapy services by unlicensed individuals. As a result of the amendment, the OIG can now issue a Cease and Desist Order to facility owners for allowing unlicensed massage, and the Georgia Board of Massage Therapy can take immediate and increased action resulting from the unlicensed practice of massage therapy. Previously, the OIG could only cite individuals who were practicing massage therapy without a license.
“This recent amendment increases our ability to target massage therapy businesses and individuals who refuse to comply with Georgia law. Unlicensed practice of massage therapy has been associated with criminal behavior that damages both the reputation of those who comply with the law and the communities in which these businesses operate,” said Secretary Kemp. “We also thank our partners in the law enforcement community for assisting with our efforts to target and prosecute unlicensed practice and unlawful behavior.”
In Macon, the OIG team worked with members of the Macon Police Department and inspected six massage therapy businesses. The team issued eight Cease and Desist Orders for unlicensed practice; identified a worker practicing in violation of a previously issued Cease and Desist Order; and issued one person a notice of hearing when they refused to sign a voluntary Cease and Desist Order. Additionally, two business owners were cited for allowing unlicensed practice of massage therapy.
In the Metro-Atlanta area, four OIG teams inspected 38 businesses and issued 34 Cease and Desist Orders for unlicensed practice therapy.
The teams inspected businesses in the following counties and cities: Henry (McDonough); Fulton (Sandy Springs, Alpharetta and Atlanta); Cobb (Smyrna and Marietta); Cherokee (Canton and Woodstock); DeKalb (Doraville); and Clayton (Riverdale and Jonesboro).
The OIG conducted similar sting operations in April and February in Macon and the Metro-Atlanta area which targeted massage therapy businesses suspected of unlicensed practice and criminal behavior.
Brian Kemp was sworn in as Secretary of State in January 2010. Among the office’s wide-ranging responsibilities, the Secretary of State is charged with conducting efficient and secure elections, the registration of corporations, and the regulation of securities and professional license holders. The office also oversees the Georgia Archives and the Capitol Museum.