Section 34-24-276

Suspension or revocation; members of board immune from suit.

(a) A license issued to any person may be suspended for a definite period of time, revoked, or limited, or a licensee may be reprimanded, or an application for licensure or renewal of licensure may be denied by the State Board of Podiatry for any of the following reasons:

(1) Conviction of any offense involving moral turpitude, in which case the record of conviction or a certified copy thereof certified by the clerk of the court or by the judge in which court the conviction is had shall be conclusive evidence of such conviction.

(2) Unprofessional conduct including any conduct of a character likely to deceive or defraud the public, lending his or her license to any person, the employment of "cappers," or "steerers" to obtain business, "splitting" or dividing a fee with any person or persons, the obtaining of any fee or compensation by fraud or misrepresentation, employing directly or indirectly any suspended or unlicensed podiatrist to do any professional work, fraudulent or misleading advertising, the use of any advertising which does not include a disclaimer required by rules and regulations of the board, carrying the advertising of articles not connected with the profession, the employment of any drugs or medicines in his or her practice unless authorized to do so by the laws covering the practice of medicine of this state.

(3) Obtaining a license or certificate by fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation, whether knowingly or unknowingly practiced on the board.

(4) When the holder of a license or certificate is suffering from a contagious or infectious disease.

(5) Gross incompetency, wilful or wanton negligence, or repeated negligence in the practice of podiatry.

(6) Intemperance in the use of intoxicating liquors or narcotics to such an extent as to unfit the holder of the license for the proper practice of podiatry.

(7) Failure to renew his or her license and pay any penalty prescribed in this article.

(8) Failure to comply with continuing education requirements prescribed in this article.

(9) Violating any rule or regulation promulgated by the board.

(10) Disciplinary action taken by another state based upon acts by a licensee similar to acts described in this section which results in suspension or revocation of a license or certificate to practice podiatry in another state. A certified copy of the record of the disciplinary action of the state taking such an action shall be conclusive evidence thereof.

(11) Sexual misconduct including, but not limited to, any or all of the following:

a. Engaging in or soliciting a consensual or nonconsensual sexual relationship when a podiatrist-patient relationship exists.

b. Making sexual advances, requesting sexual favors, and engaging in other verbal conduct or physical contact of a sexual nature with a patient.

c. Intentionally viewing a completely or partially disrobed patient in the course of treatment if the viewing is not related to patient diagnosis or treatment according to current practice standards.

(12) Any other misconduct defined by the board.

(b) Whenever charges are preferred against any holder of a license, the board shall fix a time and place for the hearing of the same, and a copy of the charges, in writing and verified by oath, together with a notice of the time and place of hearing, shall be served upon the accused at least 10 days before the date fixed for the hearing. When personal service cannot be effected, the board shall cause to be published at least 30 days prior to the date set for the hearing, in a newspaper published in the county in which the accused was last known to practice, a notice to the effect that at a definite time and place a hearing will be held by the board on charges preferred against the person. The board may issue subpoenas and compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of all necessary papers, books and records, documentary evidence and materials, or other evidence. The accused shall have the right to be confronted by the person or persons preferring the charges, to cross-examine the witnesses against him or her, to be represented by counsel, and to have the testimony taken down by a stenographer. The expense of counsel and stenographer, either or both, shall be borne by the accused. Witnesses at hearings before the board shall testify under oath and may be sworn by any member of the board. Any person disciplined pursuant to this section may appeal the action to the circuit court, or other court of like jurisdiction, in the county in which the person resides.

(c) Members of the Board of Podiatry or the members of any committee of podiatrists impaneled by the board, making any report, rendering any opinion, supplying any evidence or information, or offering any testimony to the board in connection with a disciplinary investigation or action as authorized in this article shall be immune from suit for any conduct in the course of their official duties with respect to such investigations, actions, or hearings.

(Acts 1967, No. 741, p. 1586, §16; Acts 1987, No. 87-588, p. 970, §1; Act 2009-715, p. 2104, §1.)