The AICP Ethics Committee has revoked the AICP credential of an individual who held two public planning jobs, at the same time, for three months during last year's pandemic shutdown. The planner had not informed either employer of this dual–job situation, even though both communities had official policies against "moonlighting."
Revocation is the harshest form of discipline authorized by the AICP Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. It is only imposed for the most egregious behavior by a certified planner.
The planner had been employed for several years with a local government when, in October 2020, they applied for and accepted another full-time planning position with a county government located about 40 miles away. However, they did not quit his other job and, because this occurred during the pandemic shutdown (while city and county employees were working from home and attending public meetings virtually), it took several months before either of the planner's supervisors discovered the situation. After the planner was fired from both jobs, one of the supervisors filed an ethics misconduct complaint with AICP.
Following an investigation, AICP's Ethics Officer Jim Peters, FAICP, charged the planner with violations of Rules 2, 4, and 25 of the AICP Ethics Code. The planner did not contest the charges, saying that they had done what they "needed to do in the best interest of my family." The AICP Ethics Committee subsequently voted to revoke the planner's AICP credential and to publish the case — but with no names or locations identified.
Revoking the Credential
According to the AICP Ethics Code, a planner whose credential is revoked can petition the Ethics Committee for reinstatement "no sooner than five years from the time of revocation." The Committee then has the authority to determine whether reinstatement would be appropriate and, if so, what conditions should be applied to the reinstatement.
This is only the second revocation of an AICP credential since 2015. The other revocation, which occurred in 2017, was related to the perjury conviction of a county planning director.
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About the Author
Jim Peters, FAICP, is the Ethics Officer for the American Institute of Certified Planners.