While some people may endeavor to scrub their online reputation, most people aren’t concerned about personal information on the Internet. Investigators make use of formally and unintentional, detrimental and laudatory personal information that’s posted online to check the background of witnesses, jurors, plaintiffs, defendants, insurance claimants, potential business associates or employees and anyone whose reputation and activities must be known. That’s a deep pool, and the Internet can offer a lot that isn’t otherwise easily accessible.
Government agencies that regulate professional licenses are increasingly putting violations by licensees on their Web sites. But don’t overlook private associations of professionals that discipline their members, because they may have descriptions of alleged wrongdoing that go beyond that on the government Web site. Take a look at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) disciplinary action for a David J. Burton (use your “find” tool). Now look at the State of Illinois, Division of Professional Regulation entry. He was charged with a violation of the code of ethics of AICPA, but the government site doesn’t have a record of this.
Generally, you find citations and enforcement actions at the Web site of the agency that regulates the specific profession. Select the profession in the drop-down menu at the Colorado State site for a list of license violations. This is a badly designed site, without a search by name mechanism. I have the same complaint about the North Carolina Real Estate Commission disciplinary actions, but those can be uncovered with a search engine query.
Here are some other government sites listing professional license disciplinary actions:
California Chiropractic Examiners (Search names in all disciplinary reports with a search engine query.)
California Court Reporters
California Physical Therapy Board, Citations and Disciplinary Actions
Ohio State Board of Emergency Medical Services, Disciplinary Actions (Search at Google example: kavanaugh intitle:”disciplinary actions” site:ems.ohio.gov/)
Maryland State Board of Public Accountancy
Ohio Accountancy Board Disciplinary Hearings
Pennsylvania Department of Education, Professional Standards and Practices Commission
Vermont Department of Education
Do you have a favorite site of professional license disciplinary actions?