ORS 676.165 requires the Board to conduct an investigation upon receipt of a complaint by any person against a licensee or applicant. The Board may also initiate an investigation upon its own motion. ORS 692.180(1). Each case is logged and tracked from opening to closing. The Board conducts neutral investigations intended to affirm or refute allegations. Investigators plan investigations, gather evidence, interview witnesses, analyze data and draft confidential investigative reports. The Board's Complaint Review Committee, comprised of a representative subset of Board members, conducts an initial review of all investigative reports and makes recommendations to the full Board. The full Board also reviews investigative reports and considers the merits of each allegation. Though complaint investigations are mandatory, the Board's sanctioning authority is discretionary. Depending on the circumstances, the Board makes a sequence of up to three key decisions on each allegation: 1) whether a violation occurred; 2) if a violation occurred, whether discipline is warranted; and, 3) if discipline is warranted, what form of discipline is appropriate. When the Board finds that a violation has occurred, aggravating factors, mitigating factors and disciplinary history are considered before deciding what form of discipline, if any, is appropriate. In accordance with Board decisions and the Administrative Procedures Act, and in consultation with the Board's assigned Assistant Attorney General, the compliance staff issues notices of proposed disciplinary action, negotiates voluntary settlement agreements, drafts consent and default orders, refers contested cases to the Office of Administrative Hearings, participates in hearings, drafts final orders and prepares judicial review records.
ORS 676.175(1) prohibits the Board from publicly disclosing information obtained during inspections and investigations. However, notices of proposed disciplinary action and final orders issued by the Board are subject to public disclosure under ORS 676.175(5) and the Board may disclose otherwise confidential information that reasonably relates to the enforcement functions of other public entities, including other regulatory agencies, state and federal law enforcement authorities, district attorneys and the Department of Justice. ORS 676.177
In order to protect the public and the industry, the Board conducts criminal background checks individual license applicants and on the principals of licensed facilities. Under an agency user agreement, the Board has inquiry access to the Law Enforcement Data System (LEDS) operated by the Oregon State Police. The Board also has access to background information from the Oregon Justice Information Network (OJIN), the Washington Judicial Information System (WJIN), and other states through internet sources. Applicants may obtain their criminal history from each state wherein an offense occurred to ensure accurate completion of an application or principal form.
The Board may deny a license application for conviction of a crime bearing a demonstrable relationship to funeral service practice, embalming practice, or the operation of cemeteries and crematories. The Board may also deny an application for any misrepresentation in obtaining a license including, but not limited to, failing to disclose any arrest or conviction.
When background checks reveal a criminal history or misrepresentation, investigative reports are prepared and the full Board considers the merits of each case in the same manner as complaints.
Posting of Disciplinary Actions on Website
The following Notices and/or Orders were issued by the Board on closed cases since March, 2007: (For disciplinary actions issued prior to March, 2007, you may contact the Board with a public records request.)