South Dakota Board Revokes Licenses of Professional Engineers in Contested Case Hearing

South Dakota Board Revokes Licenses of Professional Engineers in Contested Case Hearing

Conrad Moulton of Denver, Colorado, and Michael Bruckner of Omaha face disciplinary action by the South Dakota Board of Technical Professions.

The South Dakota Board of Technical Professions has made a significant decision regarding two licensed professional engineers. Conrad Moulton of Denver, Colorado, and Michael Bruckner of Omaha faced a contested case hearing before the board, resulting in disciplinary actions. The board revoked Moulton’s personal and business licenses, while a settlement agreement was reached with Bruckner. These actions highlight the importance of adhering to professional conduct rules and maintaining transparency in the engineering industry.

Conrad Moulton’s Licenses Revoked for Failure to Comply with Professional Conduct Rules

Conrad Moulton, a licensed professional engineer from Denver, Colorado, faced the South Dakota Board of Technical Professions in a contested case hearing. The board decided to revoke Moulton’s personal and business licenses after discovering that he had not complied with the board’s rules of professional conduct. Moulton’s licenses had previously been revoked by the licensing boards in Colorado and Ohio, but he failed to notify the South Dakota board of these events as required. Additionally, Moulton did not submit a log of professional development hours (PDH) when renewing his South Dakota license in 2021.

Lack of Participation and Representation in the Hearing

Moulton did not participate in the teleconference hearing and was not represented by legal counsel. The board made their decision after spending a brief period in a closed session to privately discuss the matter. The lack of participation and representation may have influenced the board’s decision to revoke Moulton’s licenses.

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Testimony and Evidence Presented Against Moulton

The only witness to testify against Moulton during the hearing was Sherrie Dyer, executive director for the South Dakota Board of Technical Professions. Dyer revealed that Moulton had been licensed in South Dakota since December 2011, but his license lapsed on December 31, 2021. Moulton submitted certificates attesting to his professional development hours in September 2022 and again in June 2023. However, he did not submit his log of professional development hours until June 14, 2023. While the log appeared to show the required 30 hours for license renewal, Moulton had not reported any discipline to the South Dakota board office at any time.

Attorney’s Argument and Legal Justification for Revocation

Jerry McCabe, the board’s attorney, argued that revoking Moulton’s South Dakota licenses was appropriate due to his licenses being revoked in other states and his failure to submit the PDH log during license renewal. McCabe stated that Moulton had ample opportunities to report the discipline imposed by other licensing boards. State law supports the board’s decision, as proof of injury is not necessary for disciplinary action, and revocation is listed as a possible consequence.

Business Records and Previous Complaints Against Moulton

Business records filed with the South Dakota Secretary of State office revealed that Radical Engineering, owned by Moulton, was a Colorado firm with branch offices in South Dakota and Minnesota. A Colorado public record detailed several complaints filed against Moulton, resulting in the revocation of his license in that state. The complaints included allegations of substandard practice, such as shouting obscenities during a telephone conversation and charging more for engineering services than agreed upon. Moulton also filed a complaint against another engineer, leading to a complaint against him for failing to meet accepted standards and discrediting the engineering profession.

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Settlement Agreement Reached with Michael Bruckner

In a separate case, the South Dakota Board of Technical Professions reached a settlement agreement with Michael Bruckner of Omaha. A complaint had been filed against Bruckner in 2020, alleging deficiencies in his work on a project for the South Dakota Department of Transportation. The settlement agreement includes placing a cautionary letter in Bruckner’s file and dismissing the complaint. The agreement explicitly states that it does not find or determine unprofessional conduct by Bruckner and imposes no discipline. Bruckner agreed to the settlement to avoid further proceedings, without admitting fault.

Conclusion:

The South Dakota Board of Technical Professions has taken decisive action against Conrad Moulton and Michael Bruckner, two licensed professional engineers. Moulton’s licenses were revoked due to his failure to comply with professional conduct rules, including not reporting previous license revocations and not submitting a log of professional development hours. Bruckner, on the other hand, reached a settlement agreement that dismissed a complaint against him without finding fault or imposing discipline. These cases emphasize the importance of professional ethics and transparency within the engineering industry, ensuring the highest standards of practice and maintaining public trust.

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