In an effort to make ethics violations and the disciplinary process more transparent, starting August 1, 2014, C.A.R. will be publishing the names – and the other information listed below – of members who are found in violation of the Code of Ethics. If a member is found in violation of the Code, and the discipline is anything other than a Letter of Warning or Education, the following information will be published by C.A.R.:
1. The name and photo of the member found in violation. All Respondents named in an ethics complaint will be required to submit a photo, along with their permission to publish the photo, included with their response to the complaint. If the member’s name is similar to another member’s, their real estate license number and/or office address may also be included in the publication;
2. A list of the Articles of the Code of Ethics that were violated;
3. A brief factual synopsis of the matter, with the names of other parties removed;
4. The discipline imposed;
5. The effective date and duration of discipline imposed; and
6. The hearing Panel’s rationale for the discipline imposed, if applicable.
This information will be published on the password protected portion of C.A.R.’s web site.
The California Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual already includes authorization to publish a picture with the discipline. The Manual is incorporated into your bylaws, and, therefore, is binding on your members. However, you cannot require members to provide a photo as a condition for membership in the association. Additionally, you cannot copy publicly available pictures without consent of the photographer. Thus, the following procedure for obtaining photos is suggested:
- The amended Disciplinary Response Form (D-3 http://www.car.org/legal/arbit-mediation-ethics-folder/realtor-ethics-board-arbitration/toc-discip-griev-forms/> requires submission of a photo, along with the Response, as well as Respondent’s consent to publish the photo;
- If no photo is submitted, the association should be prepared to take the Respondent’s photo when the member arrives at the disciplinary hearing and obtain the member’s written consent to use it for publication consistent with C.A.R.’s publishing guidelines; and
- It is not necessary to load the photo into Ethics Check. In the event one of your cases is published, C.A.R. will contact you for the photo.
As you can see, it is crucial to the success of this program for the Association enter case data into Ethics Check and to upload the Complaint, Response, Findings of Fact and Recommended Discipline. C.A.R. will use the data provided, along with the uploaded documents, to draft what will be published.
Please keep in mind that your local Association may, but is not required to, adopt a policy to publish discipline in its local Association communication vehicle(s).
Professionalism ranks as one of the highest issues for our members. We appreciate all your hard work in helping us address this very important issue. We are here for you! Just call Susie Kater, at 213-739-8215.