Can I file a lawsuit against professional licensing board for defamation/slander in posting accusations not verified??
I have 2 professional licenses in California. I have been dealing with a substance abuse problem, and ended up in Drug Court. Throughout the process I had to keep in regular contact with each board, and thus they were familiar with my situation. There were accusations filed by each board prematurely, in which there did not appear to be any investigation and EVERY accusation is comletely inaccurate or just wrong and can be proved to be so. The accusations were not verified. Also, I just recently learned of the Boards Diversion Programs - which promise all info confidential, and NO permanent record. The Boards role is to identify/help those individuals such as myself. As I was not offered diversion, and severly inappropriate info is posted, can I file a suit???
Diversion programs are not automatically granted as a matter of right. Sometimes they are authorized to licensees if drugs were the primary problem AND there was little or no harm to patients, consumers or the public. Entry into such a program can be after formal charges are filed. Impaired licensee programs can be useful but they can also be dangerous if a licensee has other issues, for example, mental health, that have not been addressed, since compliance might be made more difficult by underlying issues.
In regards to verification, generally accusations under the APA must be verified unless made by a public officer acting in an official capacity or by an employee of the agency. Lack of verification is waived if not made. In the absence of a statutory requirement for your specific licenses, no verification is required.
Keep in mind the Board's role is first and foremost, the protection of the public, not the accommodation of licensees.