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Some complaints are investigated internally by program area staff. However, depending on the scope of an investigation, the complaint may be referred to the Office of Investigations and the complaint is assigned to an investigator. The Office of Investigations receives 950 - 1600 cases a year. Cases take from less than a month to more than a year to complete depending on complexity, witness cooperation and caseload. The average time to complete a case is 6 to 8 months. The time depends directly on the complexity of the case, witness cooperation and the investigator's caseload.
When a complaint is assigned to an investigator, the investigator acts as an impartial, fact-finding third party and does not "represent" the complainant, the program area, or the licensee. The investigator may contact both the licensee and the complainant for more information. The majority of this work can be done by telephone. The investigator may also collect and review medical records, court records and police records, among other documents that may be necessary for the investigation. Experts may also be contacted.
The investigator prepares a written report that is reviewed by the program area. If the program area determines there is probable cause to believe there has been a violation of law, a hearing may be held or the licensee may agree to a settlement. The case may also be referred to the Office of Expedited Settlement or the Office of the Attorney General.
The office can not release information to the public during the investigation. The investigation is CONFIDENTIAL. The office can answer general questions about the investigative process. Each case is assigned a case number. Please have the case number available when contacting the Office.