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March 2008 Issue

PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE

APEGGA Discipline Committee Decision

 

In the matter of the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions Act
and
In the matter of the conduct of Robert Samaska, P.Eng. (the “Member”)

Charges
The notice of hearing contains the following charges brought by the Investigative Committee against the Member.

1. “On or about September 9, 2005, Robert Samaska performed a pre-purchase home inspection for Mr. Ken Scott, P.Eng., at 45 Wolf Drive, Redwood Meadows, Alberta. Before and during the inspection, Mr. Samaska promised to provide a written report summarizing his findings within 24 to 48 hours. Mr. Samaska failed to provide the report as promised and failed to respond to repeated attempts by Mr. Scott to contact him, thereby engaging in unprofessional conduct and breach of APEGGA’s Code of Ethics Rules of Conduct #1, #3, and #5.”

2. “That Robert Samaska failed to respond to a Notice to Produce documents issued to him April 4, 2006, by APEGGA, contrary to Section 49 of the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions Act, thereby engaging in unprofessional conduct pursuant to Section 44(2) of the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions Act.”

3. “That between April 4, 2006 and November 6, 2006, Robert Samaska failed to respond to numerous requests from members of the Investigative Panel for information and for an interview, in contravention of Bylaw 32.1 of the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions Act, thereby committing unprofessional conduct as defined by Section 44(2) of the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions Act.”

Agreed Statement of Facts
Prior to the hearing date, the Investigative Committee requested, with consent of the Member’s counsel, that the hearing be adjourned. Subsequently, a joint written submission was received from the parties. An agreed statement of facts was included in that submission. We reproduce the statement in its entirety:

1. “On September 9, 2005, Robert Samaska performed a pre-purchase home inspection for Mr. Ken Scott, P.Eng., at 45 Wolf Drive, Redwood Meadows, Alberta. Before and during the inspection, Mr. Samaska promised to provide a written report summarizing his findings within 24 to 48 hours. Mr. Samaska failed to provide the report as promised and failed to respond to repeated attempts by Mr. Scott to contact him.”

2. “Between April 4, 2006 and November 6, 2006, Robert Samaska failed to respond to numerous requests from members of the Investigative Panel for information and for an interview.”

Findings
The joint submission notes that the Member acknowledges guilt on charges 1 and 3 in the notice of hearing and that the Member admits that his conduct constitutes unprofessional conduct.

Orders
In their joint submission, the Member and the Investigative Committee indicated that they agree that the sanctions against the Member should include a reprimand and payment of $1,000 in costs. The parties also noted that they would be making separate submissions on the matter of publication of the decision. The parties expressed no compelling reasons that the submissions should be presented orally, so the Discipline Committee panel determined that it would receive those submissions in writing.
The Investigative Committee submits that the discipline decision should be published with names. The Investigative Committee says that the complainant noted that the Member advertises his services to the public and, in those ads, indicates that thorough and completed reports are provided.

Counsel for the Member advised that the Member had not been in contact with him for the past several months. Not having received instructions from the Member, counsel indicated he was no longer the Member’s counsel of record for these proceedings. Despite several communications directed to the Member by APEGGA’s Director of Professional Practice regarding a submission, no response was received from the Member.

In consideration of the above, the panel makes the following orders:

1. Mr. Samaska shall be reprimanded for unprofessional conduct.
2. Mr. Samaska shall pay, to APEGGA, costs in the amount of $1,000.00 by May 31, 2008. If Mr. Samaska fails to pay the $1,000.00 by May 31, 2008, his registration as a professional engineer shall be suspended until such time as he does pay.
3. If Mr. Samaska has not paid the above costs by May 31, 2009, then his registration shall be cancelled.
4. This decision, including Mr. Samaska’s name, shall be published in The PEGG.
5. Notwithstanding an appeal, this decision shall remain in effect until the Appeal Board or the Court of Appeal, as the case may be, makes its decision on the appeal.

Dated this 7th day of December, 2007.