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Typically, a disciplinary case first becomes public information when the Board issues a notice of charges and allegations, a legal document that states the Board’s case against the licensee and provides certain details of the evidence the Board has gathered in the case. Once charges are issued, a public hearing is typically held and, after hearing both sides of the case, the Board determines what discipline, if any, is warranted. Alternatively, a case in which charges have been issued may be resolved with a consent order, which is a negotiated settlement that resolves the case without the need for a hearing. Consent orders are presented for the Board’s consideration in open session
A significant number of cases are resolved before the Board takes the step of issuing formal charges and allegations. In such cases, the case becomes public when Board attorneys, and the counsel for the licensee involved, present the terms of the consent order to the Board for consideration and possible approval.
The Board employs a full time Legal Department, which currently employs five attorneys, including the department director, and three legal assistants. The Legal Department prepares charges and allegations against licensees and prosecutes cases the Board has voted to pursue. The department also assists other Board staff in following licensees who have entered into consent orders (negotiated settlements) with the Board or who have accepted other conditions or discipline to resolve a case to ensure compliance.