When a complaint is received from the public, it is promptly assigned to a Division investigator. The investigator is responsible for determining if there has been a potential violation of a licensing law, or Division rules and regulations. After developing the facts in cases where there appears to be a violation, the investigator refers the cases to a prosecuting attorney. However, if there is insufficient evidence to indicate a violation of the particular licensing statute, the file may be closed.
Completed investigations in which there appears to be sufficient evidence of a violation are forwarded to the Division’s legal staff for review. Cases are assigned to a prosecuting attorney and may be more fully investigated with a focus toward filing formal administrative charges against the licensee for specific violations. If the attorney concludes that the case has been thoroughly investigated and there is sufficient evidence supporting the complaint, formal charges are filed. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the Division and the licensee may enter into a negotiated agreement regarding the level of discipline to be imposed upon the license. It is highly recommended that a license retain the services of an attorney who focuses on this area before the negotiation process takes place. The agreement then is presented to the Director of the Division for approval.
In instances where a formal disciplinary hearing is necessary, a formal complaint is filed. The hearing is held before a hearing officer and at least one member of the respective professional board or committee. The hearing is an administrative law proceeding conducted pursuant to the Illinois Civil Administrative Code and other relevant statutes and rules.
After the hearing, the hearing officer presents the appropriate board or committee with a report detailing any violations of law. The board or committee will then issue their findings, conclusions and recommendations to the Director. When ordering disciplinary action, the Director may or may not accept the board’s recommendation.
Disciplinary action may include revocation, suspension, probation or a reprimand.
Following a final decision by the Director, the licensee has 35 days to make an appeal in circuit court under the Illinois Administrative Review Act.