State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Arizona > Title32 > 32-2237

32-2237. Committee to investigate violations; referral to county attorney or attorney general; inspection of records; subpoenas; civil penalty; injunctions; cease and desist orders; confidentiality

A. The board shall appoint one or more investigative committees, each consisting of three members of the general public who are not board members and two licensed veterinarians who are not board members. The investigative committee may interview witnesses, gather evidence and otherwise investigate any allegations accusing any person of violating any of the provisions of this chapter. An assistant attorney general shall advise the investigative committee on all questions of law arising out of its investigations. The expenses of the committee shall be paid out of the veterinary medical examining board fund.

B. The investigative committee shall prepare a written report relating to any allegations it investigates. The committee shall present its report to the board in an open meeting. The report shall include:

1. A summary of the investigation.

2. Findings of fact.

3. Either a recommendation to dismiss the allegation made in the complaint or a finding that a violation of this chapter or a rule adopted pursuant to this chapter occurred.

C. If the board rejects any recommendation contained in a report of the investigative committee, it shall document the reasons for its decision in writing.

D. Upon the complaint of any citizen of this state, or upon its own initiative, the board may investigate any alleged violation of this chapter. If after investigation the board has probable cause to believe that an unlicensed person is performing acts that are required to be performed by a person licensed pursuant to this chapter, the board may take one or more of the following enforcement actions:

1. Issue a cease and desist order.

2. Request the county attorney or attorney general to file criminal charges against the person.

3. File an action in the superior court to enjoin the person from engaging in the unlicensed practice of veterinary medicine.

4. After notice and an opportunity for a hearing, impose a civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars for each violation.

E. The board or its agents or employees may at all reasonable times have access to and the right to copy any documents, reports, records or other physical evidence of any veterinarian including documents, reports, records or physical evidence maintained by and in the possession of any veterinary medical hospital, clinic, office or other veterinary medical premises being investigated if such documents, records, reports or other physical evidence relates to a specific investigation or proceeding conducted by the board.

F. The board on its own initiative or upon application of any person involved in an investigation or proceeding conducted by the board may issue subpoenas compelling the attendance and testimony of witnesses or demanding the production for examination or copying of documents, reports, records or any other physical evidence if such evidence relates to the specific investigation or proceeding conducted by the board.

G. Except as provided in this subsection, all materials, documents and evidence associated with a pending or resolved complaint or investigation are confidential and are not public records. The following materials, documents and evidence are not confidential and are public records if they relate to resolved complaints:

1. The complaint.

2. The response and any rebuttal statements submitted by the licensee or certificate holder.

3. Board discussions of complaints that are recorded pursuant to section 32-2204, subsection C.

4. Written reports of an investigative committee that are prepared pursuant to subsection B of this section.

5. Written statements of the board that are prepared pursuant to subsection C of this section.