Administrative Hearing Commission

Richard Maseles, Esquire

Architect who settled Nevada license discipline action by paying fine and costs is subject to Missouri discipline for same acts and for not reporting Nevada discipline to Missouri board. Missouri Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Professional Land Surveyors & Landscape Architects v. Curtis, No. 12-1565 AR (Mo. AHC, October 21, 2013), Barragan-Scott, C.

Curtis was licensed as an architect in Nevada and Missouri. In October 2012, he entered into a settlement with Nevada’s licensing board arising from offering architectural services not approved by the Nevada board, inappropriately displaying photographs on his company website, and making unintentionally misleading statements or claims on his company website. Curtis agreed to stop the practices and paid an administrative penalty and costs, but did not admit or deny that his conduct violated Nevada law. When he applied to renew his Missouri license, he stated that he not been the subject of disciplinary action in any other licensing jurisdiction. The Missouri board discovered the Nevada action and brought this action.

Curtis’ license was subject to discipline. The commission concluded that the nondisclosure of the Nevada action in the Missouri renewal application constituted misrepresentation. The commission also decided that the Nevada action was a disciplinary action, because the remedial purpose of the statute was to protect the public. The Nevada board addressed a purported wrong Curtis had committed and used its power to stop Curtis’ behavior. The commission also concluded that the grounds for discipline under Nevada law also existed under Missouri law.

Sheriff deputy’s license subject to discipline for mistreatment of detainee holding illegal drugs in a body cavity. Director of Department of Public Safety v. Bottorff, No. 13-0565 PO (Mo. AHC, November 7, 2013), Winn, C.

A person arrested for an outstanding traffic warrant admitted to Bottorff, a sheriff’s deputy, that he was carrying illegal drugs in a body cavity. Bottorff took the arrestee to a room at the sheriff’s department, ordered him to strip and to “get the [drugs] out.” The arrestee asked for privacy, which was denied, then after a few minutes, Bottorff sprayed him with mace, punched the arrestee 13 times in the face, back, and other areas with his fist (in which he was holding the mace can) while other officers held him down. After placing the arrestee in a restraint chair and putting a spit hood over his head, the arrestee produced some drugs into the hood but said he still had some in his rectum. He squatted, naked, in front of Bottorff and another officer to try and evacuate the drugs. Bottorff aimed a taser at the arrestee’s genitals but the arrestee was unable to evacuate. He was taken to a hospital to have the drugs removed from his body. Bottorff was tried for second-degree assault for these events but was found not guilty. The Director brought this action to discipline Bottorff’s license.

Bottorff’s license was subject to discipline. The commission concluded that Bottorff had violated the standard of practice for detainees believed to possess contraband by not putting him in a dry cell and waiting for thirty-forty five minutes to see if the detainee evacuates the drugs him- or herself. Bottorff had also violated standards of practice by using force against the detainee and threatening him with a taser.