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Homelessness official melts down after board member objects to having 'repeat sex offender' who allegedly touched her inappropriately on their committee: 'This is about equity!'

Homelessness official melts down after board member objects to having 'repeat sex offender' who allegedly touched her inappropriately on their committee: 'This is about equity!'

The co-chair of an advisory committee for the King County Regional Homelessness Authority in Washington state had a meltdown on a recent virtual meeting after a fellow board member objected to the nomination of a convicted pedophile — who may have also touched her inappropriately — to join their committee.

On May 3, the members of KCRHA's Continuum of Care Advisory Committee gathered for an online meeting to vote on some new nominees to join them on the CoC committee. Among the nominees was Thomas Whitaker, aka Raven Crowfoot, a 38-year-old male who identifies with the "LGBTQIA2S+" and "American Indian/Alaska Native/Indigenous Communities," according to a presentation slide.

Because of Whitaker's apparently manifold qualifications, he was about to sail through confirmation — until board member Kristina Sawyckyj raised an alarming objection. "Can I say something?" Sawyckyj interjected. "We have a code of ethics on this board and Thomas Whitaker Raven Crowfoot is a sex offender, a repeat sex offender and I have had a bad experience with him." Sawyckyj then claimed that Whitaker had previously "touched" her and that if he were voted onto the board, she would not attend any meeting at which he was present.

Sawyckyj was right — Whitaker has a lengthy history of inappropriate relationships with underage girls. In 2010, when he was 25 years old, he was convicted of harboring a runaway 13-year-old girl with whom he also had a sexual relationship. Two years later, he pled guilty to felony communicating with a minor for immoral purposes, though he had originally been charged with raping a 15-year-old. Then in 2018, when he was in his early 30s, he allegedly shared a tent with a 17-year-old girl.

Despite these heinous convictions, Sawyckyj's objections to Whitaker's nomination did not sit well with some on the board, most notably, committee co-chair Shanéé Colston. Colston slammed Sawyckyj for revealing information about Whitaker, even though that information is a matter of public record, as Colston herself admitted. "We can’t disclose people’s personal business here. Right? Although that’s public disclosure, we have no right to out anybody in this space," Colston retorted. "That’s just not OK, at all. I won’t stand for that as a co-chair. We’re not here to discover people’s backgrounds."

Colston then went on to defend nominating a sex offender to the board. "I’m actually glad that is the case that he’s here because sex offenders are another population that is most vulnerable that don’t have housing," she said. "People do change."

When Sawyckyj still expressed misgivings, Colston's anger reached a fevered pitch. "Stop!" Colston screamed. "As the co-chair, I’m telling you that you cannot talk like that in this meeting. I will not have that here. If anyone wants to talk like that, you will be muted and even removed from this meeting. Board Member, or public, or not.

"This is about equity!" Colston continued, her voice screeching with rage. "And everyone — everyone! — deserves housing. I don’t care if they’re a sex offender, I don’t care if they’re black, I don’t care if they’re indigenous, I don’t care if they’re a criminal, I don’t care if they’re coming out of jail … prison. Everyone deserves housing!"

Sawyckyj then repeatedly placated Colston and asked her to "move on" with the meeting, and after a few more snide comments, Colston eventually complied. However, her emotional bullying was not lost on KCRHA chief program officer Peter Lynn, who has called for Colston to resign her position. "This unacceptable behavior by leadership of the [Continuum of Care] Advisory Committee has created a hostile environment for KCRHA staff and committee members," Lynn said in an email. "I will be working with KCRHA leadership and our attorneys to determine the next steps to ensure the safety of all those involved."

Due to continued tensions, the CoC meeting scheduled for May 5 was canceled, and Lynn reportedly stated that meetings would not resume "until this issue is resolved."

Washington official ‘glad’ to support sex offender on homelessness board in heated meetingnypost.com

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Cortney Weil

Cortney Weil

Sr. Editor, News

Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News.
@cortneyweil →