This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Eugene Lamont Moore,
Commissioner of Human Services,
Filed March 28, 2006
Department of Human Services
License No. 803962 245B-WS
Eugene Lamont Moore,
Mike Hatch, Attorney General,
Kerri Stahlecker Hermann, Assistant Attorney General, 900 Bremer Tower,
Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding Judge; Peterson, Judge; and Hudson, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
Relator challenges the final decision by the Department of Human Services (DHS) not to set aside his disqualification from a position allowing direct contact with persons receiving services from facilities licensed by the DHS and the Minnesota Department of Health. Because the commissioner’s determination relied on incorrect information regarding relator’s criminal conviction and was not otherwise supported by substantial evidence, we reverse and remand to the commissioner for a full analysis on a corrected record.
In 1991, relator Eugene Lamont Moore
committed a purse-snatching in
1996, relator was employed by the
In 1998, while still employed at Good Samaritan, relator also sought employment with another DHS-licensed organization. The DHS began another background study and quickly disqualified relator because he did not provide DHS with an updated set of fingerprints.
In 2001, while updating their records, Good Samaritan submitted relator’s background study form to DHS. Because of relator’s failure to submit fingerprints in 1998, the DHS disqualified relator and ordered his immediate removal from any direct-contact position. After communicating with relator’s supervisor, the DHS reconsidered the disqualification and allowed relator to resume working at Good Samaritan, reasoning that because relator had been continuously affiliated with the facility, he was not required to submit to a new background study or to provide new fingerprints.
In 2003, relator petitioned the
In 2004, relator was employed by the Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC). The requisite DHS background study resulted in relator’s fourth disqualification from direct-contact positions. The DHS disqualification was again based on relator’s failure to submit fingerprints in 1998. In response, relator provided the DHS with a second set of fingerprints. Once again, the MDH reconsidered the disqualification and set it aside, thus allowing relator to work in a direct-contact position at MCTC.
In November 2004, relator was
employed by Bristol Place Corporation (
This court reviews whether an
administrative decision is supported by substantial evidence or is arbitrary
and capricious. In re Excess Surplus Status of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Minn.,
624 N.W.2d 264, 277 (
A person who is disqualified from performing direct-care services may request that the commissioner reconsider the disqualification. Minn. Stat. § 245C.21, subd. 1 (2004). The commissioner shall rescind the disqualification if the commissioner finds that the disqualification relied on incorrect information or may set aside the disqualification if the commissioner finds that the individual has submitted sufficient information to show that the individual does not pose a risk of harm to any person served. Minn. Stat. § 245C.22, subds. 2, 4 (2004).
Relator challenges the final agency decision to disqualify him from a direct-contact position, arguing that he submitted sufficient information to demonstrate that he was rehabilitated and was not a risk to the vulnerable adults that he served as a nurse’s assistant.
Under Minn. Stat. § 245C.22, subd. 4(b), in evaluating whether the individual poses a risk of harm, the commissioner must consider the following factors:
(1) the nature, severity, and consequences of the event or events that led to the disqualification; (2) whether there is more than one disqualifying event; (3) the age and vulnerability of the victim at the time of the event; (4) the harm suffered by the victim; (5) the similarity between the victim and persons served by the program; (6) the time elapsed without a repeat of a same or similar event; (7) documentation of successful completion by the individual studied of training or rehabilitation pertinent to the event; and (8) any other information relevant to reconsideration.
single factor may be determinative of the commissioner’s decision whether to
set aside the disqualification.
Here, the commissioner considered all eight factors but found three factors to be determinative: (1) the severity of the disqualifying event; (2) the vulnerability of the population to be served; and (3) relator’s failure to provide detailed information related to the offense or relator’s rehabilitation. We examine each of these three “determinative factors” individually to determine whether it is supported by substantial evidence.
Severity of the disqualifying event
the commissioner indicated that relator’s May 31, 1991 criminal conviction of
“aggravated robbery” supported the commissioner’s decision not to set aside the
disqualification. But the record shows
that relator was not convicted of aggravated robbery as wrongly reported by the
BCA; rather, he pleaded guilty to felony simple robbery. This is a significant factual error because the
DHS Background Studies Act requires the commissioner to disqualify individuals
convicted of designated crimes for certain periods of time.
Vulnerability of the population to be served
the commissioner indicated that the clients in the
Failure to provide information related to the offense
Third, the commissioner indicated that his decision was based on relator’s failure to provide adequate information from which the commissioner could properly evaluate the disqualifying event—that is, relator’s 1991 conviction of simple robbery. While the burden rests on the disqualified individual to provide information necessary to assess the statutory risk-of-harm factors, Minn. Stat. § 245C.21, subd. 3, relator was pro se, and he made a good-faith effort to provide the necessary information. Relator failed to provide specific details of the purse-snatching incident, but he did provide documentation indicating that he took responsibility for the offense and successfully completed treatment for chemical dependency, which he acknowledged was a significant factor in his offense. In addition, he provided documentation of his training and education leading to his becoming a nurse’s assistant. Moreover, relator had successfully challenged a series of previous disqualifications—based on the same 1991 conviction—and he likely submitted a similar set of documents. Because there were no new allegations, relator might reasonably have believed that the documentation he provided was responsive, especially when DHS did not request additional information or otherwise indicate to relator that his responses were inadequate. Considering the evidence in its entirety, we conclude that the commissioner’s finding on this factor was not supported by substantial evidence.
Based on this record, we conclude that the commissioner’s decision not to set aside appellant’s disqualification relied on incorrect information and was not otherwise supported by substantial evidence. We therefore reverse and remand to the commissioner for a complete analysis on the corrected record.
Reversed and remanded.
 Huntington’s disease is a degenerative neurological condition that results in the death of brain cells and loss of motor control.
 Even relator was confused by the BCA’s inaccurate information, representing inconsistently to both the DHS and to this court what he was charged with and what he pleaded guilty to. The memorandum provided with the district court order sealing appellant’s criminal record provides an accurate account of the 1991 conviction.