Understanding the Board role in complaint investigations
Under Texas law, TOB has the authority to investigate allegations of misconduct related to the practice of optometry, such as violations of state optometry laws and standards of care issues. If you are the subject of a complaint to TOB, a preliminary investigation will be completed to determine TOB jurisdiction. Complaints within TOB jurisdiction will then be subject to a formal investigation. If a formal investigation is opened, you will be notified open of such and will have a limited time in which to submit a response to the Investigation Enforcement Committee. During that time, the Committee will continue to investigate to determine the validity of the complaint. Then, TOB will determine the appropriate disciplinary action.
The action(s) taken by TOB will depend on the nature of the complaint and the findings of the investigation. A letter of noncompliance or reprimand might be issued. The matter may be referred to an informal hearing or to a formal hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). After such a hearing, the ALJ will submit to TOB a recommendation for an appropriate disciplinary action; however, TOB has the final authorit to accept the ALJ recommendations and can even increase the penalty recommended. You can appeal the decision of TOB to district court in Travis County.