Court finds that tax evasion convictions show moral turpitude

After veterinarian John Cottingham pled guilty to two felony charges relating to failure to pay payroll taxes, he faced professional disciplinary charges from the South Carolina Board of Veterinary Examiners.

The board’s charges included a reprimand and fine, among other penalties. Cottingham appealed the discipline, saying that the board had exceeded its authority.

Cottingham had cited a state statute that turned out only to apply to people who were applying for initial licenses, not current license-holders.

When appealing charges, on should make sure the grounds of the appeal are valid. There can be unintended consequences such as being responsible for the other side’s attorney fees and costs. More importantly, if the underlying case does not have a proper record (evidence, objections, etc.), the grounds for appeal my be strictly limited.