The license of a Gig Harbor psychologist has been suspended months after a prostitute stole a laptop containing the private information of hundreds of patients, state health officials say.
According to the state Department of Health’s charges, Sunil Kakar, 46, compromised the personal health information of 652 clients he had obtained through two contracts with the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) when he left his personal laptop with a prostitute.
Department of Health case manager Tammy Kelley said Kakar had temporarily used the laptop as a form of payment to the woman before they went to an ATM on Feb. 4. Although Kakar initially told police the laptop was stolen while his car was unlocked, he eventually said the prostitute took it while he was at the ATM, according to the department’s “Statement of charges.”
Kakar did not report the theft to DSHS until Feb. 7, a violation of his contract with the agency, and did not report the incident to police until Feb. 14, the statement says.
The same day Kakar notified police, detectives were able to recover the laptop, which the prostitute had pawned.
The Department of Health’s statement says that because of the theft and the investigation of Kakar’s practice, his clients had to find new providers, “in some cases requiring clients to repeatedly re-disclose events that were unpleasant or traumatic for them.” The clients’ eligibility for benefits and access to health care were also delayed.