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Kazmi v. Dep't of Financial & Prof'l Regulation

Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, Third Division

September 10, 2014

SYED KAZMI, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL AND PROFESSIONAL REGULATION and JAY STEWART, Director of the Division of Professional Regulation of the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, Defendants-Appellants

Page 127

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 11 CH 33985. Honorable Mary L. Mikva, Judge Presiding.

SYLLABUS

Where the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation revoked plaintiff's medical license for making false statements in his application for his license and for the discipline he received from a sister state for false statements made in his application for licensure there, but through the appeal process, plaintiff eventually obtained an order from the trial court affirming the indefinite suspension of his license for a minimum of nine months the appellate court, pursuant to the Department's appeal, reversed the trial court's order reducing the minimum period of the suspension to nine months and confirmed the Department's initial order revoking plaintiff's license based on his deliberate misrepresentation of his professional credentials and employment history.

For Appellants: Lisa Madigan, Attorney General, Michael A. Scodro, Solicitor General, Paul Racette, of counsel, of Chicago, IL.

For Appellee: Edward W. Williams, Fred Nickl, of counsel, Edward W. Williams, Ltd., of Chicago, IL.

JUSTICE MASON delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Presiding Justice Pucinski and Justice Hyman concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

MASON, JUSTICE.

Page 128

[¶1] Defendants-appellants, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and Jay Stewart, Division Director for the Division of Professional Regulation, appeal from an order of the circuit court of Cook County affirming a decision of the Department indefinitely suspending the medical license of Dr. Syed Kazmi for a minimum of nine months. Prior to this decision, the Department revoked Dr. Kazmi's license for violations of the Medical Practice Act of 1987 (225 ILCS 60/22(A) (West 2010)), resulting from false statements made in his application for his medical license, and discipline he received from a sister state for making false statements on an application for licensure there. The circuit court reversed the Department's initial revocation, deeming it to be too harsh in light of mitigating circumstances. Two subsequent suspensions, of progressively shorter periods, were similarly deemed too harsh by the circuit court before the nine-month suspension was affirmed.

[¶2] The Department claims that the revocation of Dr. Kazmi's license was not an abuse of discretion given the nature of Dr. Kazmi's violations. We agree and reverse the order of the circuit court and confirm the Department's original revocation order.

[¶3] BACKGROUND

[¶4] Dr. Kazmi graduated from Ross University School of Medicine, located on the island nation of Dominica, in 2000. After graduation, he participated in a residency at Grand Rapids Medical Education and Research Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was not awarded credit for this residency because his performance was deficient in several areas, including the failure of an in-service examination and because of his conduct in self-prescribing medication. The following year, he participated in a residency at Thomas Jefferson University in Pennsylvania for two months, from July 2001 to August 2001, but was asked to leave because the university learned that he had not received credit from his first-year residency, which was a prerequisite. Dr. Kazmi claims that he was unaware that he received no credit for his first-year residency prior to being informed by the administration at Thomas Jefferson.

[¶5] In July 2002, Dr. Kazmi was accepted to a residency at the University of Wisconsin at Wausau. On his application for this residency, Dr. Kazmi omitted his

Page 129

two prior residencies. He withdrew from this residency prior to its commencement.

[¶6] Dr. Kazmi next secured a residency at Deaconess Hospital in Indiana from July 2003 to July 2004. This time, Dr. Kazmi omitted all three prior residencies on his application. Over the course of residency at Deaconess Hospital, Dr. Kazmi failed the in-service examination, was placed on academic probation, was suspended for writing prescriptions to his wife, and was excluded from Medicare for failure to pay his student loans. Dr. Kazmi was terminated from this residency program before its completion.

[¶7] Beginning in 2004, Dr. Kazmi participated in and completed a residency at Jackson Park Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. On his application for the Jackson Park residency, he once again omitted all of his prior residencies. As part of this residency, he filed an application with the Department for a temporary Illinois medical license. He certified, under penalty of perjury, that his application was correct and complete, but he again omitted the past residencies. Dr. Kazmi ...


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