Court of Appeals of Illinois, First District, First Division
from the Circuit Court of Cook County. No. 15 CH 16520
Honorable Franklin Valderrama, Judge Presiding.
JUSTICE MIKVA delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Presiding Justice Pierce and Justice Harris
concurred in the judgment and opinion.
1 Plaintiff Batu Shakari worked as a licensed health care
worker-first as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) and then as
a registered nurse (RN)-for over 30 years. The Illinois
Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
(Department) was aware, both when it initially approved Mr.
Shakari's LPN license and, in the intervening years, when
it consistently renewed his LPN and RN licenses, of Mr.
Shakari's prior conviction for attempted murder in 1975
and the circumstances surrounding that conviction. Mr.
Shakari was never subject to disciplinary action and was
never charged with another crime.
2 In 2011 the General Assembly passed section 2105-165 of the
Department of Professional Regulation Law (20 ILCS
2105/2105-165 (West 2014)), which requires the permanent
revocation without a hearing of the license of any health
care worker who, among other things, "has been
convicted" of a forcible felony. Although the Department
renewed Mr. Shakari's RN license after this law took
effect, in 2015 it determined, based on the language of the
statute and the fact that attempted murder is elsewhere
classified as a forcible felony, that his license should be
revoked. Mr. Shakari sought administrative review of that
decision in the circuit court, and the court affirmed the
Department's revocation order.
3 On appeal, Mr. Shakari argues that section 2105-165 does
not apply to individuals who, like him, received their
convictions before they became health care workers. Mr.
Shakari also argues that, by renewing his license after
section 2105-165 was passed and again after it took effect,
the Department was estopped from revoking his license.
4 For the following reasons, we affirm the Department's
5 I. BACKGROUND
6 In 1975 Mr. Shakari, then known as David Beverly, was
convicted of attempted murder. He was 21 years old. This
court reversed Mr. Shakari's conviction and remanded his
case for a new trial, at which point Mr. Shakari agreed to
enter a plea of guilty to attempted murder in exchange for a
sentence of time served and two years of probation.
7 Mr. Shakari completed his probation and went on to pursue
his education and a nursing career. He obtained a licensed
practical nursing degree in 1981 and, after disclosing and
appearing before the committee of nurse examiners to explain
his prior conviction, was allowed to sit for the state
licensing examination. The Department approved Mr.
Shakari's LPN license in 1982. Several years later, Mr.
Shakari returned to school to obtain an associate's
degree in nursing and, after again disclosing his prior
felony, was allowed to sit for the licensing examination. The
Department approved Mr. Shakari's RN license in 1989 and
consistently renewed that license until 2015. Mr. Shakari was
never subject to disciplinary action under either his LPN
license or his RN license.
8 In 2011, the General Assembly passed section 2105-165,
which provides that "[w]hen a licensed health care
worker *** (3) has been convicted of a forcible felony[, ]
*** the license of the health care worker shall by operation
of law be permanently revoked without a hearing." 20
ILCS 2105/2105-165(a) (West 2014). Attempted murder is a
forcible felony in Illinois. 68 Ill. Adm. Code 1130.120(a),
(c), (jj), amended at 37 Ill. Reg. 7479 (May 31, 2013).
Section 2105-165 took effect on July 31, 2012. As it had
before, the Department renewed Mr. Shakari's license in
2012, after section 2105-165 was passed, but before it took
effect. Throughout the spring and summer of 2014, however,
there was an unusual delay in the renewal of Mr.
Shakari's license. After corresponding with the
Department, Mr. Shakari finally received a notification that
his license had been renewed, along with an apology for the
delay, which Department personnel indicated "was due to
a positive answer [he] provided on [the] personal history
questions on [his] renewal form."
9 But on August 17, 2015, the Department notified Mr. Shakari
that it intended to permanently revoke his RN license
pursuant to section 2105-165. Relying on our supreme
court's decision in Hayashi v. Illinois Department of
Financial & Professional Regulation, 2014 IL 116023,
the Department rejected Mr. Shakari's argument that
section 2105-165 did not apply to him and permanently revoked
his RN license on September 30, 2015.
10 Mr. Shakari timely filed a complaint for administrative
review in the circuit court against the Department and Jay
Stewart, its director of professional regulation. In his
pro se brief in support of that complaint, Mr.
Shakari argued that the plain language of section 2105-165
did not apply to him because he was not a health care worker
at the time of his conviction, a fact he contended
distinguished his case from Hayashi, which involved
three individuals who were already licensed health care
workers when they were convicted. Mr. Shakari further argued
that the intent of the legislature was not served by
predicating revocation of his license on a prior conviction
that was unrelated to patient care and did not qualify him as
a sex offender, that the Department's erroneous reading
of section 2105-165 and of Hayashi prevented it from
considering his case in a fair and impartial manner, and
that, because the Department had issued him a license with
full knowledge of his prior conviction, its revocation of
that license was "a violation of its previous judgment
on the issue." In his reply brief, Mr. Shakari argued
that the Department's decisions to renew his license in
2012 and 2014 "collaterally estopped" it from later
revoking his license pursuant to section 2105-165.
11 At the circuit court hearing in this matter, Mr. Shakari,
now represented by counsel, reiterated these arguments and
stressed that the case was one that "crie[d] out for an
equitable and a legal solution." In questioning Mr.
Shakari's counsel, the circuit court expressed its view
that, previously, the Department "had some discretion as
to what penalty, if at all, they would exercise" but
"the statute does away with th[at] discretion."
12 Counsel for the Department, who made clear that he had not
understood Mr. Shakari to be making an estoppel argument in
his brief before the circuit court, nevertheless addressed
what he referred to as "plaintiff's equitable
estoppel argument" at the hearing. He stated that,
"even if the Department did issue a renewal license in
2014, " there was no reason "that [the
Department's] mistake of law should serve as some sort of
precedent that would prohibit them from following the law
where they d[id] not have any discretion."
13 Having considered the parties' arguments, the circuit
court affirmed the Department's revocation order. The
court concluded that it was bound by Hayashi to
reject Mr. Shakari's ...