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On Your Side: Some therapist complaints in Nevada taking 6 years to investigate

On Your Side: Some therapist complaints in Nevada taking 6 years to investigate allegations and complaints (KRNV)

Tom Carr of Fernley filed a complaint with the Nevada State Board of Social Workers in 2011, alleging that his therapist had violated ethical and state laws.

"I did make the complaint, and basically nothing's been happening," he told us during a recent interview.

Carr said he hasn't been able to get any answers about the status of the complaint he filed six years ago. So, he turned to us.

"If it's closed, if there's been disciplinary action, I don't know," he said.

We went to the office of the Nevada State Board of Examiners for Social Workers to get answers.

We told the director, Kim Frakes, that we wanted to speak with her on camera about how they investigate therapist complaints.

Frakes told us they can't comment on specific cases, but she did tell us there are 124 open complaints against therapists and social workers in Nevada. And the board, which is in charge of investigating those complaints, simply hasn't been able to keep up. Some cases like Carr's have dragged on for years.

"We are working on getting those cases resolved," Frakes said. "This is the official statement."

When we questioned whether it's reasonable to make someone wait six years for answers, Frakes told us they are doing the best they can.

"Look at some criminal or civil cases. Sometimes you have to do your due diligence," she said.

The board has made changes to try to keep up, shifting responsibilities for some employees like Frakes and adding an investigator position to help them get caught up.

The goal is to speed up how these cases are processed so that if there is a violation, the proper disciplinary action can be taken in a timely manner.

Meantime, Tom Carr is hoping the changes will speed up the response to his complaint. Because six years is simply too long in his mind.

"Something's wrong with this system, obviously."

News 4 chose not to name the therapist involved because this is still an open complaint. The allegations are just that -- allegations at this point.

Also, Gov. Brian Sandoval's office confirmed to us they have received similar complaints about the Board of Examiners for Social Workers, and they have forwarded those complaints to the Nevada Attorney General's office.

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