SOAH DOCKET NO. 452-09-0507.ELC TDLR NO. ELC20080061321 TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF § BEFORE THE STATE OFFICE LICENSING AND REGULATION, § Petitioner § § V. § OF § ROBERT ALLISON, § Respondent § ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS PROPOSAL FOR DECISION On or about June 20, 2007, Robert Allison (Respondent) applied for and received Journeyman Electrician License Number 152775 from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (Department or TDLR). The Department proposed to revoke the license because Respondent allegedly falsified on his license application certain information relating to his employment and training. Both Respondent and his counsel of record failed to appear at the hearing, and the Department’s allegations were accepted as true. Accordingly, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) agrees with the Department’s recommendation that Respondent’s license be revoked. I. JURISDICTION, NOTICE, AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY The hearing convened July 8, 2009, before ALJ Pratibha J. Shenoy at the hearings facility of the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH), located in the William P. Clements Building, 300 West 15th Street, Fourth Floor, Austin, Texas 78701. The Department was represented by Kyle Smith, prosecutor, who moved for a default based on Respondent’s failure to appear. The Department offered competent evidence establishing jurisdiction and that appropriate notice of the hearing was provided to Respondent. Those matters are set out in the findings of fact and conclusions of law. Based upon the following findings of fact and conclusions of law, and in accordance with SOAH DOCKET NO. 452-09-0507.ELC PROPOSAL FOR DECISION PAGE 2 SOAH’s default rule,1 the ALJ granted TDLR’s motion for default and recommends that Respondent’s license be revoked. III. FINDINGS OF FACT 1. On or about July 23, 2007, Robert Allison (Respondent) submitted a Journeyman Electrician License application to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (the Department or TDLR). 2. The Department issued to the Respondent Journeyman Electrician License Number 152775 on June 20, 2007.2 3. Respondent’s license expires July 25, 2009. 4. On his license application, Respondent certified that he had completed at least 8,000 hours of on-the-job training under the supervision of a master electrician, as required for a Journeyman Electrician License. 5. Respondent also stated on his application that he was currently working for Bayou Electric, Inc., and that Mr. Tommy J. Vice, President of Bayou Electric, was Respondent’s supervising master electrician. 6. Respondent falsified a letter from Mr. Vice, which letter stated, “This letter is to confirm Robert L. Allison has worked for Bayou Electric, Inc. doing commercial and residential work for a total of 4 years and successfully completed projects inspected by city inspectors.” 7. A Department investigation revealed that Respondent had never worked either for Bayou Electric or Mr. Vice. 8. On December 1, 2008, TDLR mailed a Notice of Administrative Hearing to Respondent. 9. The Notice of Administrative Hearing was mailed to Respondent at 165 Stratton Lane, Beaumont, Texas 77707-2057, by both United States regular mail and certified mail, return receipt requested. According to the United States Postal Service Domestic Return Receipt (Form 3811), the document was signed for as received at that address on December 8, 2008. 1 1 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 155.501 (formerly § 155.55). 2 The ALJ notes that the date on which the Department states that Respondent’s license was issued (June 20, 2007) is earlier than the date on which the Department states that Respondent submitted a license application (July 23, 2007). However, this apparent discrepancy does not negate the fact that – taking all of the Department’s factual allegations as true – Respondent was issued and presently holds Journeyman Electrician License No. 152775, which license was issued on the basis of an application that contained falsified information. SOAH DOCKET NO. 452-09-0507.ELC PROPOSAL FOR DECISION PAGE 3 10. The address in Finding of Fact No. 9 above was provided by Respondent on his license application submitted to the Department. 11. The notice of hearing contained a statement of the time, place, and nature of the hearing; a statement of the legal authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing was to be held; a reference to the particular sections of the statutes and rules involved; and a short plain statement of the matters asserted. 12. The hearing notice contained the following language in at least 12-point, boldface type: “If Applicant fails to appear at the scheduled hearing, the Department will request a default judgment. If a default judgment is granted, the factual allegations in this Notice of Administrative Hearing will be deemed true and the relief sought by the Department may be granted without submission of additional proof by the Department.”3 13. Continuances were granted on January 30 and April 3, 2009, and notice of the reset hearing dates was sent to Respondent’s counsel of record. 14. A hearing convened at 10:00 a.m. on July 8, 2009, in the William P. Clements Building, 300 West 15th Street, Austin, Texas 78701. 15. Respondent did not appear at the hearing, personally or through counsel. 16. The Department moved for a default, and the motion was granted. IV. CONCLUSIONS OF LAW 1. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation has jurisdiction over this matter. TEX. OCC. CODE chs. 51, 53, and 1305. 2. The State Office of Administrative Hearings has jurisdiction over the hearing in this proceeding, including the authority to issue a proposal for decision with proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. TEX. GOV’T CODE ch. 2003. 3. Proper and timely notice of the hearing was provided. TEX. GOV’T CODE ch. 2001. 4. The allegations stated in Findings of Fact Nos. 4-7 above are deemed admitted. 1 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 155.501 (formerly § 155.55). 3 It should be noted that the use of “Applicant” is inappropriate, as Respondent had already been licensed by the Department and this is a revocation proceeding. However, the notice is still understandable and is not made fatally defective by this error. SOAH DOCKET NO. 452-09-0507.ELC PROPOSAL FOR DECISION PAGE 4 5. The Department may revoke any license if the license was obtained by fraud or false representation. 16 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 60.63(b)(1)-(2).4 6. Obtaining an electrician license by fraud or false representation, or falsification of information on a license application, may be grounds for revocation of such license. 16 TEX. ADMIN. CODE §§ 73.20(f); 73.22(c). 7. Respondent falsified information on his Journeyman Electrician License application and obtained Journeyman Electrician License Number 152775 through fraud or false representation. 8. An applicant for an electrician license must demonstrate the applicant’s honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity. TEX. OCC. CODE § 1305.152(a)(4). 9. Respondent has failed to demonstrate his honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity as required for licensure. 10. The Department may revoke Respondent’s Journeyman Electrician License Number 152775. RECOMMENDATION Respondent’s Journeyman Electrician License Number 152775 should be revoked. SIGNED July 24, 2009. ________________________________________________ PRATIBHA J. SHENOY ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE STATE OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS 4 Now found at 16 TEX. ADMIN. CODE § 60.23(a)(1)-(2).