The association issued two Notices of Inquiry to James W.E. Halarewicz, P.Eng., alleging that a number of his communications breached the association’s Code of Ethics and that he failed to participate in a required practice review. A panel of the Discipline Committee subsequently found that actions surrounding the practice review breached the Engineers and Geoscientists Act, and that his communications to various parties were disrespectful, discourteous, and misogynistic. The Discipline Committee also found that Mr. Halarewicz demonstrated a contempt for the regulatory processes that the association administers in the public interest.
Engineers and Geoscientists BC issued separate Notices of Inquiry to James W.E. Halarewicz, P.Eng., in June and July 2018, regarding his unprofessional correspondence to staff at the Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC) and Engineers and Geoscientists BC and, separately, his failure to comply with a practice review for which he was randomly selected.
A disciplinary inquiry was held on August 28 and 29, 2018. Although he was notified of the disciplinary inquiry, Mr. Halarewicz did not attend. A panel of the Discipline Committee (the Panel) heard evidence from witnesses in relation to the allegations set out in the Notices of Inquiry.
On October 11, 2018, the Panel issued their Determination, which stated that the allegations set out in the Notices of Inquiry had been proven. The Panel determined that Mr. Halarewicz contravened sections 30(4) and 44 of the Engineers and Geoscientists Act by failing to provide information to the Investigation Committee and by refusing to participate in a practice review. The Panel also found that Mr. Halarewicz’s conduct was a marked departure from the standard expected of members and a contravention of Principle 7 of the Code of Ethics. In their Determination, the Panel wrote:
The Panel finds that Mr. Halarewicz engaged in unprofessional conduct by sending crude, sexist, lewd, demeaning and profoundly disrespectful emails to female staff members at AIBC. These emails reflected a marked departure from the standard of conduct required of members of the Association. Communications of this nature are unacceptable in professional discourse. The emails also contravene Principle 7 of the Code of Ethics as their demeaning and offensive content reflected a complete lack of courtesy and respect towards AIBC senior staff.
The Panel condemns Mr. Halarewicz’s communications with AIBC staff and the Association and its counsel in the strongest terms. These communications were shocking, disrespectful, discourteous, misogynistic and disgraceful. Mr. Halarewicz demonstrated an utter contempt for the regulatory processes that the Association administers in the public interest. Mr. Halarewicz’s refusal to participate in the mandatory practice review and failure to provide a meaningful or substantive response to legitimate inquiries from the subcommittee undermined the Association’s statutory mandate of protecting the public from unprofessional conduct and brought the profession of engineering into disrepute.
The Panel requested written submissions from the association and Mr. Halarewicz be provided on appropriate sanctions and whether the association’s legal costs should be payable by Mr. Halarewicz. The deadline for the submissions is December 21, 2018.
The full text of the Determination can be found in the Disciplinary Notices section of our website.
Engineers and Geoscientists BC’s website contains information on the complaint, investigation, and discipline processes. You can contact us at 604.558.6647 or toll-free at 1.888.430.8035 ext. 6647, or by email at [email protected].