For Immediate Release - May 20, 2004

State Board Places Dispensing Optician's License on Probation

State Board Places Dispensing Optician's License on Probation

Joseph M. Baldwin, of Boston, entered into a consent agreement with The Board of Registration of Dispensing Opticians, agreeing to a four-month probation of his dispensing optician license. His license is on probation until August 4, 2004 for misrepresentation and deceitful practices.

According to the agreement, Baldwin received a $100 deposit for eyeglasses from a consumer and failed to obtain the appropriate glasses. Further, he did not refund the money to the consumer or acknowledge any request for a refund until a complaint was filed with the Division of Professional Licensure.

In addition, Baldwin failed to complete continuing education requirements for the maintenance of his dispensing optician license from 1999 through 2004 and misrepresented his compliance with these requirements to the Board on his renewal applications.

Baldwin may work during the probationary period and is eligible for full reinstatement of his license after August 4, 2004 if he completes the continuing education requirements and does not violate any other Board rules during that time period.

Dispensing Opticians fit and dispenses prescription ophthalmic eyewear including eyeglasses and contact lenses. Members of this profession measure and duplicate existing ophthalmic prescriptions and fabricate eyeglasses.

The Board of Registration of Dispensing Opticians protects the public through regulation of the practice by testing candidates and licensing those who are qualified, insuring compliance with state statutes and the Board's rules and regulations, and conducting hearings and facilitating resolutions to consumer complaints.

Consumers are encouraged to exercise their rights and continually visit the Division's Web site at www.mass.gov/reg and select the "check a license" option to determine whether a professional is licensed and in good standing before doing business with him/her.

The Division of Professional Licensure is an agency within the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. The Division of Professional Licensure is responsible for ensuring the integrity of the licensure process for 43 trades and professions regulated by 29 boards of registration, the continual updating of licenses for approximately 330,000 licensees, and the maintenance of the multiple databases related to licensing, enforcement, and revenue collection. In fiscal year 2003, the Division of Professional Licensure imposed record levels of professional discipline including 949 disciplinary actions and over $27,000 in fines and over $50,000 in refunds for consumers.