|SPECIAL BOARD MEETING
Wednesday, May 5, 2004
Sunset Center South
1193 Royvonne Avenue SE, #24
Present via Telephone:
David Michael, RG, CEG, Board Chair, (via cell phone)
Gary Peterson, RG, CEG, Beaverton
Eileen Webb, RG, Tigard
Present at the Board Office:
Christine Chute, Assistant Attorney General
Susanna Knight, Administrator
Allen Morris, Public Member
William Orr, RG, Board Member
Vicki McConnell, PhD, RG, State Geologist
No Guests Present
Peterson stated that the Board is convening to discuss whether to enter a DEFAULT ORDER against Northwest Aquifer Surveying, Inc. (NWAS) for failure to respond to a NOTICE issued by the Board. He asked the Board’s Attorney Christine Chute to summarize the issues of the case.
Chute gave a formal presentation to the Board explaining that the Board has the opportunity to enter a Final Order against NWAS. The initial NOTICE OF PROPOSED ACTION listed Kraemer/NWAS together. There were four items listed in the notice with a $1,000 fine per item. Kraemer did respond within the required 30-day window and requested a hearing. In his response letter, he admitted to two of the four allegations, but he did not agree that he had practiced geology. At the end of the letter, Kraemer indicated that he was unsure which charges were against him and which were against NWAS. Kraemer/NWAS was used interchangeably in the initial notice.
In a pre-hearing conference held March 2, 2004, discussion confirmed that an amended notice would be issued to separate out what each (Kraemer and NWAS) had done. The amended notice was issued in March 2004 and stated that if NWAS failed to request a hearing in a timely fashion (30-day window), the Board may move forward. The notice also allowed a $4,000 penalty against each Kraemer and NWAS. No request for hearing by NWAS has been received.
Chute explained that she has been in contact with Kraemer’s attorney indicating that she would advise the Board to take a DEFAULT ORDER against NWAS, since no request has arrived, and it had been a week past the deadline. Chute then solicited questions from the Board up to this point.
Webb requested clarification about letters from the Board and other letters in the file wondering if they are addressed to both NWAS/Kraemer. Chute confirmed that all letters have been addressed to NWAS/Kraemer. Webb stated that Kraemer should be well aware of this. Chute stated that the notice for this meeting was faxed to both Kraemer and his attorney. No response arrived from either Kraemer or his attorney. Chute stated that the Board has been very courteous and kind and had no obligation to the follow-up.
Chute stated that ORS 672.525 states no person shall practice, etc. Person has various meanings as defined in the general statutory definitions (ORS 174) which include corporations. What if the Board enters a FINAL DEFAULT ORDER against NWAS for failing to request a hearing? Then Kraemer would be released of responsibility, as the order would be against NWAS. NWAS would have 60 days to request an appeal with the Court of Appeals where it could raise its legal arguments. This would take at least a year.
[NOTE: Board Member Michael’s cell phone connection was lost at this point and he was not reconnected.]
Chute offered to answer any additional questions. Peterson solicited any additional discussion. With no further discussion, Webb moved to issue a FINAL ORDER BY DEFAULT against NWAS consistent with the notice but not declaring the penalty. Morris seconded. Peterson stated that the NWAS’s business model is questionable, so he believes it is important to notice the company rather than the individual (Kraemer). Chute stated that she could only find two shareholders in the company: Kraemer and his wife. Webb stated that because Kraemer had received the same communications as NWAS, in which he was one of two shareholders, by default NWAS (through Kraemer) also was aware of the communications. Oral vote: Orr, yes; Webb, yes; Morris, yes; Peterson, yes; Michael, absent; McConnell, absent. Motion passed.
Vice-Chair Peterson solicited questions regarding the penalty phase of the DEFAULT ORDER. Orr moved to adopt the posture of the maximum amount of $4,000 in this NWAS case. Webb seconded. Oral vote: Orr, yes; Webb, yes; Morris, yes; Peterson, yes; Michael, absent; McConnell, absent. Motion passed.
Chute recommended that the notice against Kraemer be dropped. Orr moved to withdraw the notice against Kraemer individually. Webb seconded. Oral vote: Orr, yes; Webb, yes; Morris, yes; Peterson, yes; Michael, absent; McConnell, absent. Motion passed.
Vice-Chair Peterson announced that the next Board Meeting is scheduled for June 7, 2004, preceded by a work session the afternoon before. Information about location, etc. will be forthcoming.
Vice Chair Peterson adjourned the meeting at 9:23 AM.
(Minutes were approved at the June 6, 2004, Board Meeting)