CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) today announced it had indefinitely suspended the licenses of Edward Kent, a Real Estate Broker and Associate Appraiser who had been convicted of a crime that caused his name to be placed in the Illinois Sex Offender Database. After receiving a complaint about Mr. Kent, the Department undertook to compare its more than one million licensees against that database.
Since undertaking its review of licensed professionals, IDFPR has taken disciplinary actions against the licenses of 283 individuals for failing to notify the Department that they had been convicted of a crime resulting in their names being added to the Sex Offender Database or for violating some other provision of the professional practice act under which they are licensed.
“Illinois families have the right to be able to trust their licensed professionals. The Sex Offender Database is a tool that enables us to help protect that right,” said Brent E. Adams, Secretary of Financial and Professional Regulation.
On March 11, 2009, Mr. Kent, while still actively holding Real Estate Broker and Associate Appraiser Licenses, was convicted of the Class 3 Felony of Possession of Child Pornography in the State of Illinois. IDPFR learned about Mr. Kent’s conviction from a consumer who filed a complaint with the Department’s Complaint Intake Unit. Under the Real Estate and Appraiser Practice Acts, conviction of a felony is grounds for disciplining a professional license.
“To ensure the integrity of our licensed professions, we work closely with other state agencies, such as the State Police,” said Daniel E. Bluthardt, Director of the IDFPR's Division of Professional Regulation. “While the Department has reviewed this type of data in the past, technological advances have improved our ability to match our licensees against other agencies databases and take appropriate disciplinary action when necessary.”
In addition to the 283 licensees against whom the Department has already taken disciplinary action, the Department is investigating an additional 306 more licensees whose names appeared on the Sex Offender Database. Each of these individuals is being afforded due process, and is given an opportunity for a hearing to determine whether they violated the laws and rules pertaining to their professions and whether they should be allowed to retain their professional licenses.