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Former Lake Whatcom Center counselor doesn’t respond to sexual harassment allegations

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The Washington State Department of Health announced Wednesday, July 10, it has suspended the license of a Whatcom County counselor after he reportedly did not provide a written response to sexual harassment allegations of a coworker.

Mathew Kevin Kyle Smith had his license suspended for at least two years, according to a Department of Health release, after he reportedly made inappropriate, sexually suggestive comments to a resident at the Lake Whatcom Center and used his position of authority to make the resident feel demeaned.

Smith no longer works at the Lake Whatcom Center, which helps those who are mentally ill.

As earlier reported in The Bellingham Herald, Department of Health records show the allegations against Smith included:

While working at Lake Whatcom Center, he “made inappropriate comments to Resident A, including but not limited to bartering for intimate contact with Resident A in exchange for cigarettes.”

He also made “sexually suggestive comments in an attempt to lure Resident A into having intimate contact with him.”

She rebuffed him. When she did, he “used his position of authority as her treatment provider to remind her of ‘her place’ in relation to his more powerful role, causing her to feel demeaned.”

The state didn’t indicate when the alleged incidents occurred.

According to The Bellingham Herald’s archives, the Lake Whatcom Center fired him.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.
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