Ducey Replaces Massage Therapist Regulatory Board's Members

PHOENIX (AP) — Gov. Doug Ducey has ousted and replaced all five members the Arizona State Board of Massage Therapy in the wake of a newspaper's critical report about the occupational regulatory panel's handling of complaints about alleged sexual abuse by therapists.

Ducey's announcement Friday didn't mention the Arizona Republic's Sept. 15 investigative report that the board was lax in disciplining therapists accused of abuse, but he said it was critical that the board “protects massage clients, especially those who are in a vulnerable position."

The announcement also said Ducey's appointments implemented legislation enacted in 2020 to have the massage board and certain other regulatory panels have majorities of public members once current members' terms expired.

Public members are people not in the regulated occupations.

Ducey noted that three of the five new members have experience in victim advocacy and support. The other two are both licensed massage therapists with more than 25 years of experience.

“”The state is committed to implementing policies and best practices that will help keep Arizonans who are massage clients safe, and will continue to work with industry professionals and members of the spa community moving forward," Ducey said.