Board members decline legislative offer
An offer by a House of Delegates Government Organization Committee to delete one
dentist from the Board of Dentistry and add eight persons without education or training
in the dental profession was declined by representatives of the WV Board of Dentistry
yesterday at the Capitol. The intent is to have unlicensed or untrained persons make
up a majority of the members on the Board.
Board members Dr. Richard Gerber, Dr. Stan Kaczkowski, Beverly Stevens, COMSA,
and Executive Secretary Susan Combs met with Delegate Craig Howell, chair of the
House of Delegates Government Organization Committee and his attorneys at the
request of the Delegate. He said a U. S. Supreme Court decision requires a majority
of the members of a licensing board must be people other than those licensed in that
profession. He offered adding eight such persons to the Board of Dentistry.
Dr. Gerber responded the Board’s attorney was told not to attend the meeting, and
that the Board knew nothing about the proposal prior to the meeting. He said the
Board could not accept the offer, and needed legal counsel before considering it.
He also said significant additional costs would be experienced by the Board with
such a proposal.
WVDA Executive Director Richard Stevens has conferred with attorneys at the
American Dental Association and the legislature, and has learned the U. S. Supreme
Court decision in the Federal Trade Commission vs. the North Carolina Dental Board
case calls for states to have “active supervision” over their boards NOT a majority of
unlicensed persons on their licensing boards. The North Carolina Dental Board is to
have issued cease and desist orders to 47 “teeth whiting” vendors in that state without
oversight of any state agency, such as the Attorney General.
“West Virginia has all the measures in place to meet the high Court’s decision of
active supervision of the dental board,” said Stevens. “The Governor, a member of
the executive branch of government, appoints members to the dental board. The
attorney general, the state’s legal counsel, has oversight over the board to make sure
it doesn’t act illegally. And, the legislature’s rule making review committee, the
legislative arm of the state, approves or disapproves all rules promulgated by the
dental board. Then the full senate and house of delegates, another legislative branch
of government, either approves or disapproves the actions of the rule making review
committee. All three branches of government are included in all of the dental board.
Thus, we have active supervision as the high court said was needed,” said Stevens.