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This Question at PE Renewal......
2

This Question at PE Renewal......

This Question at PE Renewal......

(OP)
Has anyone else noticed when you renew your license on-line (in some states) the question: "have you been arrested/do you have charges pending" gets asked now? The first time I noticed it was a couple of years back (in Georgia). Just noticed it again when I renewed in New York (today).

Wonder if they would act on you just being arrested or charged. (Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?) Or is it a situation they just monitor?

Glad I've never had any trouble with the law. smile

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

I'm sure they would consider the status and the offence. If you were in jail without bail for murder, that's bad. If you're arrested for conducting a sit in for a political cause, that's probably excusable. Although if they suspended your license without being found guilty, you'd have a case.
They probably want to put you on notice so if you're found guilty, they can evaluate it. Otherwise if you plan your crime around PE renewal cycles, you could be a practicing felon until the next renewal comes up, possibly two or three years.
Note that I think most states require you to self report if you're found guilty of something.

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

And part of the engineering profession is maintaining a good reputation.

The NSPE fundamental canons include number 6:
Conduct themselves honorably, responsibly, ethically, and lawfully so as to enhance the honor, reputation, and usefulness of the profession.

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RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

(OP)

Quote:

(JAE)

And part of the engineering profession is maintaining a good reputation.

The NSPE fundamental canons include number 6:
Conduct themselves honorably, responsibly, ethically, and lawfully so as to enhance the honor, reputation, and usefulness of the profession.

I would hope one's reputation wouldn't hinge on (what proved to be) charges they were acquitted of.

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

I was thinking I'd been seeing similar requirements for quite a few years, actually.

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

....and the states are essentially are relying on you to help bridge the lack of communication in state government (i.e. the "PE renewal department" does not talk to the "criminal department")

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

Something doesn't sit well with being put in a separate group or category without being found guilty.

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

(OP)

Quote:

(JStephen)

I was thinking I'd been seeing similar requirements for quite a few years, actually.

IIRC it use to be just "have you been convicted/pleaded guilty" in the states I'm in. Then they started including the "pleaded no contest" over the last 10 years or so. (I guess some smart guy used the plea as an out.) Some states still don't ask about arrest (at least at the last renewal). That I didn't see at my last NY renewal (in 2014). (Or at least I didn't notice.) For Georgia, its been (I think) about the last 2-3 renewals.

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

Colorado does not ask if you were arrested.
They do ask if you are in the country legally, which is odd; since Denver is a sanctuary city.

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

monkeydog - if you say you are in the country illegally they will slap you with an "Engineer of the Year" award and highlight you in their quarterly newsletter.

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RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

Colorado doesn't ask but I think it states you cannot be convicted of a felony. I just renewed my Louisiana license and I think they asked that question.

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC
NSPE-CO, Central Chapter
Dinner program: http://nspe-co.org/events.php

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

So it appears that the logic is that if you have been convicted of a felony, there is NO WAY you would ever lie on a renewal application?!?!?

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

Same logic as placing a "gun-free zone" sign and expecting criminals not to carry when they enter the area...

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

"So it appears that the logic is that if you have been convicted of a felony, there is NO WAY you would ever lie on a renewal application?!?!?"

Well, there is honor among thieves, isn't there? winky smile

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

Just rummaging around a bit, I see that question was being asked in Alabama in 2006, so it's not new.

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

The "PE renewal department" may have an indirect reason for the question. Would probably take a court proceedings to cancel a criminal's PE license because they were a criminal. However, if the criminal lied on the PE renewal application... that would be reason enough. Kind of like Al Capone going to jail for tax evasion instead of "serious" crimes.

www.SlideRuleEra.net idea
www.VacuumTubeEra.net r2d2

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

Quote:

Wonder if they would act on you just being arrested or charged. (Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?)

Whatever happened to recusing yourself from professional activities until relevant court decisions were made?

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

(OP)

Quote:

Whatever happened to recusing yourself from professional activities until relevant court decisions were made?

If somebody is falsely accused of something, they shouldn't have to recuse themselves from one daggone thing. How do you do that anyway (if you are in the middle of a project or run your own business)?

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

We are not the appropriate judge of our own actions in these matters, society is via our legal system. Its therefore unethical to continue working with a charge against you that could potentially cost your professional license.

You recuse yourself in the same manner every other professional does, by finding and hiring someone competent if need be to do said work.

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

(OP)

Quote:

(CWB1)

You recuse yourself in the same manner every other professional does, by finding and hiring someone competent if need be to do said work.

That's a new one on me. I've heard of judges/prosecutors recusing themselves in certain cases over reasons of conflict of interest (i.e. related to the defendant, etc)......but I've never heard of a professional doing so for just simply being charged in a crime. If so, that's something I wouldn't agree with (depending on the schedule of the project).

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

Most of us need to keep working to pay the bills. So self recuse, in a case where one believes self to be innocent, is probably just a fantasy in an internet forum thread.

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

Surely you've heard of administrative leave or restricted (desk) duty? Its much the same thing. Everybody from public servants to private employees are usually subject to those pretty quickly as a matter of standard process when ethical or career-impacting accusations are made regardless of company size. If nothing else, companies do so to give the appearance of cooperating with investigating authorities and prevent the appearance of impropriety.

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

(OP)

Quote:

Surely you've heard of administrative leave or restricted (desk) duty?

Yeah.....for cops. And in many cases: it's paid time.

Quote:

Everybody from public servants to private employees are usually subject to those pretty quickly as a matter of standard process when ethical or career-impacting accusations are made regardless of company size. If nothing else, companies do so to give the appearance of cooperating with investigating authorities and prevent the appearance of impropriety.

That presupposes it is something work related.

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

"Whatever happened to recusing yourself from professional activities until relevant court decisions were made?"

Lawsuits can go on for years; do you stop working for 2 yrs?

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

(OP)

Quote:

Lawsuits can go on for years; do you stop working for 2 yrs?

Exactly. Same deal with criminal cases. It can take a great deal of time for your case to come up.

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

Your presumption of innocence, under the US Constitution, would suggest that there is no need to "recuse" yourself. Moreover, unless the charge relates to competence, there ought not be any presumption that anything else you do is necessarily tainted.

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

Quote:

Yeah.....for cops. And in many cases: it's paid time.

Quote:

That presupposes it is something work related.

Quote:

Lawsuits can go on for years; do you stop working for 2 yrs?

Barring an admission or being caught doing something heinous enough to justify immediate dismissal, leave in these instances is usually paid for engineers and other professionals too. If the case isn't work related and not something likely to cost your license, its probably not applicable to this thread.

Regarding lengthy court proceedings, I would take a token short leave then be checking with both the judge and state board before resuming independent work and my employer would be dictating my return to work otherwise. I'll ask forgiveness after the fact of many people but not the legal system when I'm already in trouble.

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

(OP)

Quote:

(CWB1)

Barring an admission or being caught doing something heinous enough to justify immediate dismissal, leave in these instances is usually paid for engineers and other professionals too.

At just about every place I've worked at: you are billable or you are gone. (Or on unpaid furlough.) Needless to say what this would do to someone who is self-employed.

Quote:

(CWB1)

Regarding lengthy court proceedings, I would take a token short leave then be checking with both the judge and state board before resuming independent work and my employer would be dictating my return to work otherwise. I'll ask forgiveness after the fact of many people but not the legal system when I'm already in trouble.

Better hope the "judge and state board" green light your return to work (which is the whole point of this thread).....otherwise you could be in trouble.

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

Quote (cbw1)

I'll ask forgiveness after the fact of many people but not the legal system when I'm already in trouble.

Assuming that you are not required by law to stop practicing as an engineer during the time of question, how would you be creating a situation where you later had to ask for forgiveness (or face more punishment) if you did not recuse yourself? Sorry, I just don't see the practical element to what you are trying to say.

Ex: someone stole my identity and committed fraudulent acts with it. I'm charged with fraud but not convicted. I know I didn't do it. So, I should just stop working as an engineer until the mess is straightened out? I'm not qualified to be judge of myself here? This is somehow a more professional way of conducting myself? Sorry, I just don't see it like that?

RE: This Question at PE Renewal......

I renewed NYS last year and don't recall if it said "arrested" or "convicted" and I renewed recently Pennsylvania and I think it said arrested. In NY, your license can be suspended for DUI. In reading the NYS Education Department's disciplinary actions I've come across more than half a dozen people I know.

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