Rules of the Board of Regents

Part 17, Disciplinary Proceedings in the Professions

§17.1 Complaints or other information. | §17.2 Investigation. | §17.3 Prosecution or settlement of disciplinary proceedings. | §17.4 Reports. | §17.5 Consent orders. | §17.6 Surrender of license. | §17.7 Violation of probation. | §17.8 Hearing panel; administrative officers. | §17.9 Summary suspensions.

§17.1 Complaints or other information.

All complaints or other information relating to licensees authorized to practice a profession under title VIII of the Education Law shall be referred to the director of the Office of Professional Discipline.


§17.2 Investigation.

The director of the Office of Professional Discipline or that officer's designee shall, in matters involving possible professional misconduct, initiate an investigation of each such complaint or other information.


§17.3 Prosecution or settlement of disciplinary proceedings.

Prosecution or settlement of disciplinary proceedings shall be conducted as provided in title VIII of the Education Law, and as provided in this Part.


§17.4 Reports.

The director of the Office of Professional Discipline or that officer's designee shall submit a report by April first of each year on the status of cases investigated during the previous year, as well as on the disposition of any criminal or civil matters processed through the office, to the chairman of the State Board for each of the professions supervised by the Board of Regents.


§17.5 Consent orders.

Disciplinary proceedings conducted pursuant to the provisions of title VIII of the Education Law may be disposed of in accordance with the following procedure:

  1. A licensee who is under investigation, or against whom charges have been voted, who admits guilt to at least one of the acts of misconduct alleged or charged, in full satisfaction of all allegations or charges, or who does not contest the allegations or charges or who cannot successfully defend against at least one of the acts of misconduct alleged or charged, shall notify the director of the Office of Professional Discipline or the director's designee.
  2. If the director of the Office of Professional Discipline or the director's designee, a designated member of the State Board for the applicable profession, and the licensee agree to a statement by the licensee admitting guilt to one or more of the allegations or charges or setting forth a decision not to contest the allegations or charges or stating that the licensee cannot successfully defend against such allegations or charges and agreeing to a proposed penalty, and if a designated member of the Board of Regents thereafter agrees to such statement and proposed penalty, and if the Committee on the Professions thereafter agrees to such statement and proposed penalty, a written application, signed by all the above except the Committee on the Professions, shall be submitted by the licensee to the Board of Regents based upon the statement and proposed penalty consenting to the issuance of an order of the Commissioner of Education or his or her designee effectuating such penalty. The provisions of this section shall apply to licensees subject to disciplinary proceedings conducted pursuant to title VIII of the Education Law. They shall be applicable to individuals licensed or registered pursuant to articles 131 or 131-B of title VIII of the Education Law for those cases in which charges of professional misconduct were served on or before July 26, 1991, the effective date of Chapter 606 of the Laws of 1991. They shall also be applicable to licensees and registrants subject to article 137 of the Education Law. With respect to such licensees subject to articles 131 or 131-B of title VIII of the Education Law, the agreement of the director of the Office of Professional Medical Conduct or that officer's designee, and of the Commissioner of Health or his or her designee, to the statement and proposed penalty and their signatures on the application shall be required in lieu of the agreement and signature of the director of the Office of Professional Discipline. With respect to such licensees subject to the provisions of articles 131 or 131-B of title VIII of the Education Law, the term State Board as used in this section means the State Board for Professional Medical Conduct. With respect to licensees and registrants subject to article 137 of the Education Law, the agreement of the executive secretary of the State Board for Pharmacy to the statement and proposed penalty and his or her signature on the application shall also be required.
  3. The application shall be in such form and shall contain such substance as is acceptable to the director of the Office of Professional Discipline or the director's designee.
  4. In the event an application is not granted by the Board of Regents, nothing contained therein shall be binding upon the licensee or construed to be an admission of any act of misconduct alleged or charged, and such application shall not be used against the licensee in any way. Any such application shall be kept in strict confidence during the pendency of the disciplinary proceeding. In addition, such denial by the Board of Regents shall be without prejudice to the continuance of the disciplinary proceeding and the final determination by the Board of Regents pursuant to the provisions of the Education Law.
  5. In the event the Board of Regents grants the application, the commissioner or his or her designee shall issue an order in accordance therewith.

§17.6 Surrender of license.

Disciplinary proceedings conducted pursuant to the provisions of title VIII of the Education Law may be disposed of in accordance with the following procedure:

  1. A licensee who is under investigation or against whom charges have been voted, who wishes to surrender his or her license to practice any of the professions enumerated in title VIII, shall notify the director of the Office of Professional Discipline or that officer's designee.
  2. An application to surrender a license shall be based upon a statement that the licensee admits guilt to at least one of the acts of misconduct alleged or charged, in full satisfaction of all allegations or charges, or does not contest the allegations or charges, or cannot successfully defend against at least one of the acts of misconduct alleged or charged. If the director or the director's designee, a designated member of the State Board for the applicable profession, and the licensee agree to such statement, and if a designated member of the Board of Regents thereafter agrees to such statement, and if the Committee on the Professions thereafter agrees to such statement, a written application, signed by the licensee, shall be submitted to the Board of Regents. The application shall be in such form and shall contain such substance as is acceptable to the director of the Office of Professional Discipline or the director's designee. The provisions of this section shall apply to licensees subject to disciplinary proceedings conducted pursuant to title VIII of the Education Law. They shall be applicable to individuals licensed or registered pursuant to articles 131 or 131-B of title VIII of the Education Law for those cases in which charges of professional misconduct were served on or before July 26, 1991, the effective date of Chapter 606 of the Laws of 1991. They shall also be applicable to licensees and registrants subject to article 137 of the Education Law. With respect to such licensees subject to articles 131 or 131-B of title VIII of the Education Law, the agreement of the director of the Office of Professional Medical Conduct or that officer's designee and the Commissioner of Health or his or her designee to the statement, and their signature on the application, shall be required in lieu of the agreement and signature of the director of the Office of Professional Discipline. With respect to such licensees subject to articles 131 or 131-B of title VIII of the Education Law, the term State Board as used in this section means the State Board for Professional Medical Conduct. With respect to licensees and registrants subject to article 137 of the Education Law, the agreement of the executive secretary of the State Board of Pharmacy to the statement and his or her signature on the application shall also be required.
  3. In the event the application is not granted by the Board of Regents, nothing contained therein shall be binding upon the licensee or construed to be an admission of any act of misconduct alleged or charged, and such application shall not be used against the licensee in any way. The application shall be kept in strict confidence during the pendency of the disciplinary proceeding. In addition, any such denial by the Board of Regents shall be made without prejudice to the continuance of any disciplinary proceeding and the final determination by the Board of Regents pursuant to the provisions of the Education Law.
  4. In the event the Board of Regents grants the application, the commissioner or his or her designee shall issue an order in accordance therewith.

§17.7 Violation of probation.

  1. Upon the receipt of information indicating that the respondent may be in violation of any of the terms or conditions of respondent's probation, the department shall conduct an investigation.
  2. The director of the Office of Professional Discipline shall review the results of the investigation and if the director determines that a violation of probation proceeding is warranted, the director shall give notice to the respondent, by letter, of the facts forming the basis of the alleged violation of respondent's probation. The respondent, in said letter, shall be requested to indicate whether there is any dispute as to the facts, and shall be informed that if respondent disputes any of the facts the respondent shall be entitled to a hearing thereon.
  3. If the respondent does not dispute the facts forming the basis of the alleged violation of probation, the matter shall be submitted to the Regents Review Committee for its review and recommendations(s) [sic] as to whether, based upon the undisputed facts, there has been a violation of the terms or conditions of respondent's probation and, if so, as to the measure of discipline to be imposed upon the respondent.
  4. If the respondent disputes any of the facts forming the basis of the alleged violation of probation, the respondent shall be afforded a hearing before a hearing officer appointed by the commissioner to hear and make findings of fact, conclusions of law and recommendation(s). The department shall give the respondent at least 10 days' notice of the hearing, 15 if by mail. The evidence in support of the application shall be presented by counsel on behalf of the department and the respondent shall also have the right to be represented by counsel. The department and the respondent have the right to produce witnesses and other evidence, to cross-examine witnesses, and to examine any other evidence produced at the hearing. A stenographic record of the hearing will be made, and the hearing officer shall not be bound by the rules of evidence, but the findings of fact and conclusions of law of the hearing officer shall be based upon substantial evidence.
  5. The report of the hearing officer shall be reviewed by the Regents Review Committee.
  6. The Regents Review Committee shall notify the respondent, at least seven days before its meeting, of the time and place of such meeting, and shall also notify the respondent of the opportunity to appear in person and to be represented by counsel at such meeting.
  7. The Regents Review Committee shall transmit the report of the hearing officer and a written report of its review to the Board of Regents. The final determination shall be made by the Board of Regents, and the commissioner or his or her designee shall issue an order implementing such determination.
  8. The measure of discipline to be imposed for any violation of probation may be to continue the respondent on probation for a period in addition to the period of probation imposed in the original order, or to terminate the probation, vacate the stay of execution, and impose any measure of discipline authorized by section 6511 of the Education Law. A violation of probation shall constitute unprofessional conduct, and may constitute the basis for proceedings under either the provisions of section 6510 of the Education Law or of this Part.

§17.8 Hearing panel; administrative officers.

Findings of fact, recommendations as to penalties to be imposed, and any other actions taken by a hearing panel in disciplinary proceedings, except as hereinafter set forth, shall be made by majority vote. Any determination of guilt shall require a minimum of a four fifths vote of the hearing panel. An administrative officer, admitted to practice as an attorney in the State of New York, shall rule on all motions, procedures and other legal objections, and draft a report which shall reflect the determination and recommendation of the panel and be subject to the approval of and signature by the panel chairperson on behalf of the panel. The administrative officer shall not be entitled to a vote.


§17.9 Summary suspensions.

  1. If the director of the Office of Professional Discipline or that officer's designee believes that the public health, safety or welfare imperatively requires emergency action against a professional license, certificate, registration, permit or other authorization of the licensee to practice under title VIII of the Education Law, the director or the director's designee may make an application, on behalf of the department, to the Board of Regents for the summary suspension of said authorization pending the prompt institution prosecution and completion of formal disciplinary proceedings as provided under section 6510 of the Education Law.
  2. Summary suspension proceedings shall be commenced by the service on the licensee of a notice of hearing and a verified petition. The notice of hearing shall state the time and place of oral argument on the application for summary suspension and the regent designated by the chancellor to hear the matter, and shall include a copy of this rule. The notice of hearing and petition shall be personally served upon the licensee no later than five days prior to the date set for oral argument. If personal service cannot be made after due diligence, the notice of hearing and petition may be served by certified mail, to the licensee's last known address, not less than eight days prior to the date set for oral argument. The petition shall set forth the basis for the application and shall include sworn statements upon personal knowledge and/or exhibits demonstrating probable cause to believe that respondent has committed professional misconduct and that the public health, safety or welfare imperatively requires emergency action to summarily suspend respondent's license. A verified answer and any sworn statements and supporting exhibits may be served by respondent upon the director of the Office of Professional Discipline or the director's designee no later than two days prior to the date set for oral argument. The director of the Office of Professional Discipline or the director's designee may serve a verified reply, together with any sworn statement and supporting exhibits, to the answer no later than the day prior to the date of oral argument. The answer and/or reply may be served by certified mail by mailing to the addressee no later than three and two days, respectively, prior to the date set for oral argument. The petition, answer and reply, together with any sworn statement and supporting exhibits, shall be transmitted at the time of service of each paper to the regent designated to hear the case. Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays shall be excluded in calculating the periods of time set forth in this subdivision.
  3. At the oral argument, the Office of Professional Discipline and respondent and/or his or her attorney shall have the right to be heard, but no testimony shall be taken and no transcript of oral arguments shall be required. No further papers shall be submitted at the oral argument except by permission of the regent designated to conduct the proceeding.
  4. The regent designated by the chancellor to conduct the proceeding shall submit a written report of his or her conclusions and recommendation(s) to the Board of Regents, which shall determine whether to grant or deny the application for summary suspension. A determination by the Board of Regents granting the application must be based upon a finding that the public health, safety or welfare imperatively requires emergency action.
  5. Any determination of the Board of Regents shall be without prejudice to the department or licensee in any subsequent formal disciplinary proceeding.
Last Updated: July 9, 2009