Troubled Tacoma treatment clinic shuts down

A Change Counseling Services in Tacoma, Wash. (Credit: KING)
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TACOMA, Wash. -- A Tacoma drug and alcohol treatment clinic with a long history of complaints has shut its doors.

Clarence Farmer, the owner of A Change Counseling Services, could be seen packing office equipment into a truck and trailer outside the clinic’s offices on South M Street.

The business is closed, but the KING 5 Investigators have learned that it doesn’t mean that the clinic is gone for good.

A spokesperson for the Department of Social and Health Services, which regulates treatment clinics, confirms that Farmer submitted an application to rename and relocate this clinic.

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He would like to change his clinic name to “A Fresh Beginning” and move to the 10000 block of Pacific Avenue in Parkland, according to DSHS’s Kelly Stowe.

A Change Counseling was barred from Pierce County Courts after it appeared in KING 5’s “Sobriety for Sale” reports.

State investigative documents, and witnesses interviewed by KING 5, alleged that four counselors at A Change accepted cash bribes from drug or alcohol-addicted clients. In exchange, the counselors allegedly falsely told the courts that the clients were in compliance with court-ordered treatment.

A Change is the second state-licensed clinic to shut down after being named in KING 5’s reports.  Three other clinics remain under state investigation.

Farmer acknowledged to KING 5 that he had closed the clinic on South M Street.  However, he said that the bank foreclosed on the office building’s owner.

The presiding judge of the Pierce County Superior Court Frank Cuthbertson said in an email that he was unaware of the proposed name change, but he said: “…hopefully the licensing process takes into consideration the history of the ownership and staff issues.”