Contractor fined $7,500 for illegal use of professional engineer’s seal and protected title “professional engineer”

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A provincial court judge convicted Jeff Rubino of Carleton Place on March 3 of three counts of breaching the Professional Engineers Act by the Ontario Court of Justice and fined $7,500 for using a fabricated professional engineer’s seal and the title “professional engineer” on a report submitted to the Ottawa building department.

The City of Ottawa sought additional information, including a professional engineer’s approval, in relation to a building permit application to modify a local home that included removing a load bearing wall and inserting a laminated veneer lumber beam and adjustable posts, PEO said in a news release. The general contractor on the project retained Rubino to respond to the City. Rubino has never been licensed as a professional engineer in Ontario nor has he ever held, or acted under and in accordance with, a Certificate of Authorization.

In his report, Rubino used a seal that duplicated the wording, content and style of the seal reserved for professional engineers. He also referred to himself as a “Professional Engineer of Ontario” and used a purported licence number that was similar to those issued to professional engineers but that did not match any number in PEO’s register of licence holders.

The matter came to the attention of Professional Engineers Ontario (PEO) when a city building department official checked Rubino’s licence status upon receiving the report bearing the seal and title.

Judge Richard C.P. Sculthorpe convicted Rubino of three offences relating to the illegal use of the seal and protected title and for not acting under, and in accordance with, a Certificate of Authorization.

Nick Hambleton, associate counsel, regulatory compliance, represented PEO in this matter. “PEO would like to thank the homeowner, contractor on the project and Ottawa building department for their co-operation in its investigation,” PEO said in its news release.

Engineering licenses and certificates of authorization can be verified through the directories of practitioners at www.peo.on.ca.  To report unlicensed individuals and unauthorized companies, contact PEO’s enforcement hotline at (416) 840-1444 or 1-800-339-3716, ext 1444, or email enforcement@peo.on.ca.

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