The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice Campbell
Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable John K. Madden, Judge Presiding.
PRESIDING JUSTICE CAMPBELL delivered the opinion of the court:
Respondent, the Department of Professional Regulation (Department) denied the request of petitioner, Safwan Hamwi, a physician, to expunge the record of a disciplinary action against his medical license. Petitioner sought review in the circuit court of Cook County, naming as respondents the Department and the Director of the Department, Nikki Zollar (Zollar). The circuit court affirmed the decision of the Department, and denied plaintiff's complaint for administrative review. On appeal, petitioner contends that the trial court erred in affirming that the Department's denial of his request for expungement of the disciplinary action from its records. For the following reasons, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.
The record reveals the following relevant facts. Petitioner is a physician licensed in good standing to practice medicine in the State of Illinois. In January 1987, petitioner, then a resident of the State of Ohio, pled guilty to misdemeanor charges of attempt forgery and attempt uttering *fn1 in the Court of Common Pleas, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and was sentenced to pay a fine of $500. In May 1987, petitioner accepted the offer of a medical internship program in Chicago, and applied to the Department for a temporary license to commence in July 1987.
Later in 1987, petitioner entered into a consent order with the Department, whereby he stipulated to his conviction, agreed to accept the disciplinary sanction of a reprimand, and waived his rights to have the pending allegations reduced to written charges; to a hearing; to contest any charges brought; to administrative review of any order resulting from a hearing; and to administrative review of the consent order. Petitioner did not receive his temporary medical license until February 1988, causing him to forfeit his internship position. Petitioner secured another internship position in July 1988.
In March 1988, pursuant to an application filed by petitioner, the State of Ohio entered a judgment of expungement in which the State sealed the official records pertaining to petitioner's conviction. However, the Ohio court order provided that upon conviction of a subsequent offense, the sealed records could be considered by the court in determining the sentence or other Disposition.
In July 1990, petitioner applied to the Department for issuance of a permanent Illinois medical license. After disclosure of the Ohio expungement order and investigation by the Department, petitioner was issued a permanent medical license in December 1990.
In July 1994, petitioner applied for a medical license in the State of Kentucky. The Department reported the previous disciplinary action in Illinois to the Kentucky licensing board. Petitioner disclosed all of the facts relevant to his disciplinary reprimand and expunged conviction, and the State of Kentucky issued a medical license to petitioner in 1994.
In January 1995, petitioner filed a petition to expunge his prior disciplinary action with the Department based on the expungement of his conviction from the court records of the State of Ohio. In April 1995, petitioner submitted his own affidavit to the Department, in which he averred that at the time he agreed to the entry of the consent order, an attorney for the Department had told him that if his Ohio conviction was expunged, his Illinois disciplinary reprimand would also be expunged.
On September 8, 1995, Zollar found that petitioner failed to allege any evidence to warrant expungement of his reprimand, because the expungement of petitioner's conviction was not as the result of an error or reversal of petitioner's conviction on appeal. Zollar denied petitioner's petition to expunge his disciplinary record.
On October 12, 1995, petitioner filed a complaint in the circuit court of Cook County seeking administrative review of the findings of the Department. Therein, petitioner again alleged that the State of Ohio expunged all record of his conviction from the court records of that state, and that his conviction was the only basis for the disciplinary reprimand action taken by the State of Illinois. Petitioner further alleged that at the time he agreed to the consent order resulting in the reprimand action by the Department, he had received assurances from a Department attorney that upon expungement of his conviction in Ohio, the Department would also expunge the reprimand from its records.
Petitioner requested that the circuit court reverse the decision of the Department denying the expungement of his disciplinary reprimand, and to order the Department to expunge the reprimand from its files. In the alternative, petitioner requested that the trial court either remand the matter to the Department for reconsideration, or vacate the 1987 consent order.
A hearing commenced on petitioner's complaint on July 12, 1996. On July 19, 1996, the trial court entered an order denying petitioners complaint for administrative review, finding the Department's decision neither arbitrary nor capricious nor against the manifest weight of the evidence. Petitioner filed a timely notice of appeal on August 15, 1996.
On appeal, petitioner argues that the trial court erred in affirming the Department's denial of his request for expungement of the ...