Investigations CommitteeUpton Associates - Raleigh, NC
November 9, 2016
Meeting Minutes and Notes
NC Board for Licensing of Geologists
Committee on Investigations
November 9, 2016
The conflict of interest statement was read by Board Chair Rick Kolb. No conflicts were noted and the meeting was called to order at 10:04 am. Others present included Kenneth Taylor, Executive Director Barbara Geiger and Legal Counsel Mary Lucasse. Board member Bill Miller joined the meeting by telephone.
On motion by Kenneth Taylor and second by Bill Miller, the minutes from the previous meeting were accepted as presented.
Barbara Geiger reported on the sharing of investigators with other occupational licensing boards, informing the Board that the Soil Science Board was receptive to the idea, but that they have not ever received a complaint that required any investigations. Andrew Ritter, Executive Director for the NC Board of Examiners for Engineers & Surveyors was also receptive to the idea. Mr. Ritter informed Ms. Geiger that the NCBELS employs four full time investigators and that he felt that they could handle additional investigations for the NCBLG. Each of the NCBELS investigators is former law enforcement and has 10+ years experience. All of them are Council on Licensure, Enforcement & Regulation (CLEAR) certified and are required to take continuing education each year to maintain the certification. The investigations performed are fact based and are non-technical. The NCBELS has a disciplinary committee that receives the fact based investigation reports and makes a recommendation to the full NCBELS. Dr. Taylor made the motion that the Investigations Committee make the recommendation to the NCBLG to pursue the option of taking advantage of the CLEAR certified investigators employed by the NCBELS when appropriate. The motion was seconded by Dr. Miller and carried unanimously.
The revised “peer review” contract was reviewed. There was discussion regarding “investigators” and “peer reviewers” being employees or agents of the Board. Ms. Lucasse was asked to revise the letter making it clear that the role of “peer reviewers” is not to perform investigations, but rather to review investigator reports. Motion was made by Dr. Miller to send the revised letter to the current peer reviewers and investigators. The motion was seconded by Dr. Taylor and carried. Dr. Taylor mentioned the possibility of University faculty members serving as peer reviewers.
Barbara Geiger was asked to update the Peer Review Committee list and to send it to the Investigations Committee members.
Committee members reviewed the proposed rule changes. Ms. Lucasse and Dr. Taylor will work together on rules revisions regarding investigations and report back to the Committee at the November meeting.
Mary informed Committee members that she and Ms. Geiger would attend a meeting with legal counsel for the Private Protective Services Board regarding investigations and that board’s law on November 8 and that other issues may be identified. Dr. Miller feels that it is very important to have a licensed geologist involved in the review and recommendations of an investigation.
Committee members shared issues that need to be addressed in the current rules of the Board. Dr. Taylor noted that the rules should be gender neutral. Dr. Miller noted that the Statute § 89E-17 gives the Board authority to appoint/employ investigators and that the rules say that they must be licensed.
The contract letter was reviewed. Following suggested edits, Dr. Taylor made the motion that Ms. Lucasse update the contract letter. The motion was seconded by Dr. Miller and carried. It was noted that the contract letter to the investigator and the contract letter to the peer reviewer should be slightly different. Ms. Lucasse will draft two letters for the committee’s review.
Possible dates for the next meeting were discussed. Ms. Geiger was asked to send out a poll to committee members .
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 11:05 am.
Barbara U. Geiger