89E-19. Disciplinary procedures.

(a) The Board, consistent with the provisions of Article 3A of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes, may refuse to grant a license to any applicant who does not meet the qualifications required by this Chapter, the Board's code of professional conduct, or the Board's rules, or to any corporate registrant that does not meet such qualifications and the requirements of Chapter 55B of the General Statutes. The Board, consistent with the provisions of Article 3A of Chapter 150B of the General Statutes, may refuse to renew, suspend, or revoke a license or certificate of registration if a licensee or corporate registrant:

(1) Violates the provisions of this Chapter, the Board's code of professional conduct, the Board's rules, or an order issued by the Board.

(2) Has been convicted of a misdemeanor under G.S. 89E-22.

(3) Has been convicted of a felony.

(4) Engages in gross unprofessional conduct, dishonest practice, or professional incompetence.

(5) Commits fraud or deceit in obtaining a license or certificate of registration or in assisting another person in obtaining a license or certificate of registration.

(b) If the Board finds that a licensee is professionally incompetent, the Board may require the licensee to take an oral or written examination or to meet other requirements to demonstrate the licensee's fitness to practice geology, and the Board may suspend the licensee's license until he or she establishes professional competence to the satisfaction of the Board.

(c) In addition to the authority granted in subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the Board may levy a civil penalty not in excess of five thousand dollars ($5,000) for any licensee or corporate registrant who violates the provisions of this Chapter, the Board's code of professional conduct, the Board's rules, or any order issued by the Board. All civil penalties collected by the Board shall be remitted to the school fund of the county in which the violation occurred. Before assessing a civil penalty, the Board shall consider the following:

(1) The nature, gravity, and persistence of the violation.

(2) The appropriateness of the imposition of a civil penalty when considered alone or in combination with other action taken by the Board.

(3) Whether the violation was willful.

(4) Any other factors that tend to mitigate or aggravate the violation.

(d) The Board may bring a civil action in the superior court of the county in which the violation occurred to recover a civil penalty if a licensee or corporate registrant does one of the following:

(1) Fails to request a hearing on the imposition of a civil penalty and fails to pay the civil penalty within 30 days after being notified that a civil penalty has been imposed.

(2) Requests and receives a hearing on the imposition of a civil penalty but fails to pay the civil penalty within 30 days after service of a written copy of the Board's decision. (1983 (Reg. Sess., 1984), c. 1074, s. 1; 1987, c. 827, s. 1; 1999-355, s. 2.)