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Mark Dumchin 0399758 - Appeal
On April 24, 2015, the Panel found that the Member committed professional misconduct as a result of his criminal convictions for possession of child pornography and making available child pornography. A summary of the Discipline Committee’s decision and reasons was published in the September 2015 issue of The Standard.
Although the Panel determined that the appropriate penalty for the Member’s misconduct would be the revocation of his certificate of registration, it concluded that it lacked the statutory power to impose such a penalty because the Member had resigned while under investigation. Instead of revocation, the Panel ordered that the Member be reprimanded.
The College appealed the penalty portion of the Panel’s decision.
On April 4, 2016, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Divisional Court, released its decision. It found that the Panel’s conclusion that it lacked jurisdiction to impose revocation, a suspension and/or conditions on a certificate of registration of a member of the College who has resigned, was unreasonable.
The Court noted that the legal scheme provides the College with continuing jurisdiction to investigate a member who has resigned, for misconduct that occurred while he or she was still a member. The purpose of this continuing jurisdiction is to ensure that members are held accountable to their regulator for the prime objective of protection of the public.
The Court found that the Panel’s interpretation was unreasonable as it did not give effect to this purpose. It would allow members to resign to avoid the consequences of their misconduct, which is antithetical to the overarching public protection aims of the disciplinary process. As a result, the Court set aside the Panel’s decision and replaced it with an order revoking the Member’s certificate of registration.