The State Board of Professional Counselors and Therapists are responsible for allowing violent convicted felons and sex offenders to have licenses. They opposed background checks for mental health professionals and they opposed making sexual contact between mental health professionals and clients a crime. The Executive Director, Tracey DeShields testified that the board doesn't consider whether the "sexual misconduct" was consensual or not. Mr. Richard Haan a former board chair, testified that the board didn't report a sexual assault to the police because professionals are less likely to become violent if complaints are not forwarded to the police or OAG.
As a bully tactic, the Board chair, Carol Deel filed an ethics complaint for Executive Director, Tracey DeShields against Delegate Smigiel. The complaint was dismissed.
Please click the links below to view the videos and see for yourself!
Executive Director, Tracey DeShields testifying.
Please read the petition letter and sign! Everytime you sign, the petition letter is sent to Dr. Sharfstein, the secretary of health and the secretary of appointments, Jeannie Hitchcock.
Thank you for your support!
Whereas, certain members of the Board of licensed therapist and counselors (hereinafter “the board”) are due for reappointment, and
Whereas, Professional Therapist and Counselors are in positions of authority over their patients and therefore, sexual contact is never appropriate, and
Whereas, it is clear from the documents and videos available on the Lynetteslaw4Maryland.com web site, that the current board has been deficient at best and complicit at worst, in allowing State licensed therapists and counselors to sexually abuse their patients without fear of criminal sanctions, and
Whereas the board has failed to perform the duties necessary to protect the public from the people the board licenses, and
Whereas, the statements and actions of current and past board leadership clearly portray a lack of understanding of the problem of professional therapist and counselor abuse or compassion for the victims of said abuse, and
Whereas, the board has failed to modify its positions or take appropriate actions in light of repeated suggestions by studies and task force recommendation, and
Whereas, the Board members have made embarrassingly callous, uninformed unprofessional statements to the legislature and public regarding the practice of licensed therapist and counselors, and
Whereas, members of the Board have filed a retaliatory, unfounded ethics complaint against a member of the Maryland House of Delegates Judiciary Committee in an effort to chill future questions as to the Board’s standards and practices, and
Whereas, the board has been caught taking opposite positions before different committees on the same issue in the same session, and took offense at having said, inconsistency pointed out, and
Whereas, the Governor and the Secretary of Health, Dr. Sharfstein have the ability to deny reappointment, to those members of the board currently up for reappointment, and
Whereas, the Governor and the Secretary of Health, Dr. Sharfstein also have to power and authority to terminate the terms of Ms. Traci DeShields and Mr. Richard Hann, both of whom appear in videos on this site, which show an unconscionable inability to perform the duties of protecting the public from therapist abuse, and
Whereas, the Governor and the Secretary of Health, Dr. Sharfstein have the power and authority to reconstitute and or restructure the entire inefficient Board,
For the above stated reasons the undersigned respectfully petitions the Honorable Governor of the State of Maryland, Martin O’Malley and the Secretary of Health, Dr. Sharfstein to act as deemed appropriate in protecting the citizens of Maryland from the ineffectiveness of the Board of Therapist and Counselors by exercising their authority as outlined above to ensure that those seeking the professional services of licensed therapists and counselors in Maryland are protected against sexual abuse.