Administrative Hearing Commission

Richard Maseles, Esquire

Licensed professional counselor’s license subject to discipline for inappropriate sexual relationship with patient within 24 months of end of counselor-patient relationship. Missouri Cmte. for Prof’l Counselors v. DeCastro, No. 11-0998 PC (Mo. AHC, May 13, 2013), Dandamudi, C.

DeCastro provided psychotherapy to a married couple, then to the wife alone, for improving their marriage. Within 24 months after the professional relationship ended, at a social dinner with DeCastro’s wife, DeCastro and the patient became intoxicated, and DeCastro’s wife drove them to the house of DeCastro and his wife. When DeCastro’s wife returned, she found DeCastro and the patient in a compromising sexual position. DeCastro and the patient went to a motel, where they were later discovered by police. They told police they were at the motel to wait for the wife’s boyfriend to pick her up. The board alleged that DeCastro’s conduct was cause to discipline his license.

  DeCastro’s license was subject to discipline for violation of regulations and ethical standards, misconduct, and breach of professional trust. DeCastro’s behavior constituted an exploitative relationship as defined by 20 CSR 2095-3.010.

Mississippi River Towboat Company argued, without success, that it owed no sales or use taxes to Missouri because it took title to bought goods in the middle of the river. Commercial Barge Line v. Director of Revenue, No. 09-0723 RS (Mo. AHC, May 13, 2013), Winn, C.

Under the 1820 Missouri Compromise, the eastern border of Missouri was set as the middle of the main channel of the Missouri River. Commercial Barge (ACBL) operated boats that towed cargo barges on inland waterways including the Mississippi River. Louisiana Dock Company sold goods to ACBL. Both were owned by the same parent company. ACBL provided Louisiana Dock with exemption certificates claiming that deliveries were not made and purchases were not used in Missouri. The director assessed sales and use taxes against ACBL, and ACBL appealed.

ACBL was liable for the sales and use tax. ACBL argued that they owed no sales tax on these purchases because, among other reasons, title passed to the goods in the middle of the Mississippi river and thus did not happen in Missouri; imposition of tax was barred by the Commerce Clause; the Maritime Security Act, 33 U.S.C. § 5(b), prohibited imposition of tax on a vessel operating on waters subject to United States authority; and limitations. The commission rejected each argument, after noting that it was impossible to tell precisely where on the river ACBL’s boats were when title to the goods passed. The commission noted that Illinois collected sales tax on sales to northbound boats, and in this case, the director assessed use tax on deliveries to southbound boats. The commission assessed taxes based partly on the direction the boats were headed in the manner Illinois assessed such taxes, and partly on the nature of the goods delivered and who was the original seller.