Administrative Hearing Commission

Editor:
Richard Maseles, Esquire

Discipline of police officer for use of firearm in domestic dispute proved by officer's failure to answer complaint or respond to request for admissions. Director of  Department of Public Safety v. McGee, No. 08-1605 PO (Mo. AHC, February 10, 2011), Chapel, C.
According to the complaint, McGee, a peace officer, became intoxicated and got into an argument with his girlfriend. After she locked herself in her car, McGee fired his pistol at her and her car, shooting out the tires. When she ran into her residence, McGee followed her, kicked the door open, and fired more shots. The girlfriend's two children and a neighbor's three children were sleeping in the residence. There were no allegations of criminal charges filed against McGee, but the Director brought this complaint, alleging cause for discipline under Section 590.080. When McGee failed to answer the complaint or respond to a request for admissions, the Director moved for summary decision, which was granted. The commission found that McGee committed several criminal offenses (domestic assault, child endangerment, property damage, burglary, armed criminal action, and unlawful use of a weapon), thus justifying discipline, accepting the deemed admissions as proof.

Campaign committee and its treasurer liable for fees based on multiple violations of Missouri campaign finance laws. Northeast Ambulance and Fire Protection Improvement District and Tolbert v. Missouri Ethics Commission, No. 10-0242 EC (Mo. AHC, January 25, 2011), Dandamudi, C.
A campaign committee was involved with two propositions in local elections as well as recall elections for two District board members. After receiving complaints of violations of the campaign finance disclosure laws (Section 130.011 et seq. RSMo), the Ethics Commission found numerous violations of those laws and imposed fees against the committee and its treasurer. The committee appealed, but the AHC affirmed the findings and imposed fees based on its calculations. The AHC held that the committee's failure to timely file quarterly finance disclosure reports or pre-election and post-election reports, properly report contributions, contributor addresses and employers, expenditures made (and the names and addresses of the recipients of such expenditures), or cash contributions or expenditures all constituted violations of the campaign finance disclosure law.

Neurosurgeon not subject to discipline for acts and decisions made in course of medical and surgical treatment. State Bd. of Reg. for the Healing Arts v. Albanna, No. 04-0595 HA (Mo. AHC, January 4, 2011), Chapel, C.
The State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts sought to discipline Albanna, a board-certified neurosurgeon, under Section 334.100.2, RSMo for repeated negligence, incompetency, gross negligence, harmful conduct. After hearing extensive evidence, including conflicting expert testimony, the commission found no grounds for discipline. The board alleged acts and decisions justifying discipline involving six patients, but the commission found them to be insufficient justification for discipline. Albanna took on difficult cases on which physicians and surgeons could, and did, disagree as to the course of treatment. In some cases, there was conflicting evidence regarding the patient's informed consent. In other cases, acts that the board alleged warranted discipline (such as allegedly leaving surgical clips in a patient too long) were met by expert witness testimony to the contrary. The commission found no repeated negligence, nor any instances of inappropriate or unnecessary surgery, with regard to any patient for whom such allegations were raised. 

The Missouri Bar Courts Bulletin, 11-Feb