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Cassidy v. California Board of Accountancy

California Court of Appeals, Fourth District, Third Division

September 27, 2013

CARL RANDOLF CASSIDY, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
CALIFORNIA BOARD OF ACCOUNTANCY, Defendant and Respondent.

Certified for publication 10/16/13

Appeal from a judgment of the Superior Court of Orange County, Ct. No. 30-2011-00466661 Andrew P. Banks, Judge.

Carl R. Cassidy, in pro. per., for Plaintiff and Appellant.

Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General, Alfredo Terrazas, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Linda K. Schneider and Carl W. Sonne, Deputy Attorneys General, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

OPINION

IKOLA, J.

The California Board of Accountancy (the Board) revoked Carl Randolph Cassidy’s certified public accountant (CPA) license for, inter alia, holding himself out and practicing as a CPA when he knew his license was expired. Cassidy petitioned the superior court for a writ of administrative mandamus that would order the Board to reinstate his license. The court denied Cassidy’s petition. Cassidy now appeals from the judgment denying his petition. We affirm.

FACTS

On February 4, 2010, Cassidy received the Board’s initial accusation alleging, inter alia, he practiced and held himself out as a CPA without a valid license in September and October of 2007.

In May 2010, a company named All In One Trading (AIOT) filed a complaint with the Board, alleging Cassidy was its former CPA and had purported to file its federal tax return in February 2010, but the Internal Revenue Service had no record of the return being filed.

On September 8, 2010 the Board filed an amended accusation against Cassidy, adding new allegations that he filed a tax return for and billed AIOT using his CPA designation on February 18, 2010 (less than two weeks after receiving the Board’s initial accusation). The amended accusation alleged eight causes for discipline, including that Cassidy practiced and held himself out as a CPA in September and October of 2007 and February 2010.

An administrative law judge held a hearing on the amended accusation and thereafter wrote a proposed decision containing factual findings and concluding that cause existed for disciplining Cassidy on the first and the fourth through the eighth causes for discipline, but not the second and third causes.[1] The Board adopted the proposed decision in its entirety and revoked Cassidy’s CPA license.

Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 1094.5, Cassidy petitioned the Superior Court for a writ of administrative mandamus compelling the Board to set aside its decision. The court, exercising its independent judgment, denied Cassidy’s petition and found that the findings of the administrative law judge and the Board were supported by the weight of the evidence and that they had not abused their discretion in imposing the penalty of revoking Cassidy’s license. The court stated both orally and in writing that it exercised its independent judgment in determining that the weight of the evidence supported the findings of the administrative law judge and the Board.

DISCUSSION

Pending Motions

Before discussing the merits of this appeal, we address two pending motions. The Board has requested we strike pages 30 through 111 of the clerk’s transcript. Cassidy has requested we take judicial notice of six documents attached to his request.

Board’s Pending Motion to Strike Portions of the Clerk’s Transcript

Pages 30 through 111 of the clerk’s transcript appear to have been inserted as an attachment to Cassidy’s designation of the record on appeal. Cassidy identified these documents as “AIOT & Related Entities Tax Returns, ” and “AIOT Books & Records.” He represented in his designation that these documents were “exhibits that were admitted in evidence, refused, or lodged in the superior court, ” but had not been admitted into evidence. (Italics added.) The Board’s motion to strike is supported by the declaration of counsel stating that pages 30 through 111 were “never admitted into evidence or otherwise considered by the administrative judge or the superior court in this matter.” (The Board’s memorandum acknowledges that pages 108 and 109 of the clerk’s transcript appear in the administrative record at pages 358 and 359. Pages 110 and 111 of the ...


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