Cases Referred to the Attorney General
Referral to the Attorney General (AG) for the filing of an Accusation (or a Statement of Issues) may occur following a complaint. A referral will be made only if a comprehensive investigation by the AG's investigator, and review by the Board's DPM consultants and experts, as well as by a Deputy Attorney General, indicates that the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) warrants disciplinary action for violation of the California Business & Professions Code.
Following referral, another Deputy Attorney General is assigned to the case, may request additional investigation, and occasionally decides against filing an Accusation. Such decisions are usually based on a judgment regarding the strength of the evidence and whether it will be found to meet the State's high burden of proof at Hearing.
BPM has referred cases on the following doctors. The AG will prepare an Accusation following its review of the evidence. When an Accusation is filed, the DPM is given notice of the right to a Hearing before an independent Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). At this administrative law hearing, the AG, under the law, has the burden of proving the allegations contained in the Accusation by clear and convincing evidence. This is a significantly higher standard than the civil court preponderance of evidence test used in medical malpractice cases.
Accusations may result in revocation, suspension or probation of the doctor's license. The appointed Members of the Board (four DPMs, three public Members) make the Decision. They do this following receipt of either a Stipulated Agreement between the parties or an ALJ's Proposed Decision, which will be based on the evidence as presented at the Hearing. The Board's Decision may be appealed to the Board itself or to the courts.
Once the AG prepares and the Board's executive officer signs an Accusation, that information appears on the License Verification & Public Disclosure screen. Copies of Accusations and other public documents are available online:
- December 1993 Sacramento Bee editorial
- Department of Consumer Affairs´ Recommended Minimum Standards for Consumer Complaint Disclosure
- Department of Consumer Affairs Consumer Complaint Disclosure
|NAME:||Smith, Stephen Douglas|
|LOCATION:||Huntington Beach, CA|
|DATE OF REFERRAL:||06/20/18|
|Alleged Violations:||B&P 2234(B) Gross Negligence|
|B&P 2234(C) Repeated Negligent Acts|