Wednesday, April 10, 2019

nurses - licensing - suspension - misdemeanor disorderly conduct not a crime of moral turpitude

Dunagan v. Bureau of Prof. & Occup. Affairs – Cmwlth. Court – unreported* memorandum opinion – April 10, 2019

One who commits disorderly conduct by, for example, persisting in making “an unreasonable noise,” 18 Pa.C.S. §5503(a)(2), or using “obscene language,” id. §5503(a)(3), has not committed a crime of moral turpitude with the requisite reprehensible state of mind under 63 P.S. §666(a)(5).  Moreover, disorderly conduct, even graded as a third degree misdemeanor, is wholly unlike the crimes which this Court has previously deemed crimes of moral turpitude, such as mail fraud, theft by deception, conspiracy to possess and distribute controlled substances, etc. See Krystal Jeep; Foose; Startzel; Yurick. Thus, because there are numerous iterations of disorderly conduct wherein the actor cannot be said to have committed a crime of moral turpitude, the Board erred in suspending Petitioner’s practical nursing license for six months based upon her nolo contendere plea to disorderly conduct. Accordingly, the order of the Board is reversed

*An unreported Commonwealth Court case may not be cited binding precedent but can be cited for its persuasive value.  See 210 Pa. Code § 69.414(b) and Pa. R.A.P.  3716