North Carolina Irrigation Contractors' Licensing Board

April 2016 Newsletter
P.O. Box 14121
Raleigh, NC  27609
Tel - (919) 872-2229
In This Issue

*  Letter from the Chair

*  Meet the newest Board               Member

*  Meet the Board's new                 Legal Counsel

*  Marketing tool for                     licensees


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Total Number of Complaints in the Month of March: 8

Unlicensed Practice
5 Complaints
4 Cases in Process
1 Case Closed and Invalid

3 Complaints
1 Case in Process
2 Cases Closed and Invalid

Rule of the Month

An irrigation contractor shall use valve boxes that are large enough to provide sufficient space for servicing the valve housed inside. Valve boxes shall be at least 10 inches in diameter for both manual and automatic valves.

Letter from the Chair,

I would like to address an important issue of the Board and its licensees; the submission of complaints for alleged violations.  As Chairman of this Board, and a licensed irrigation contractor, I understand the frustration felt when an individual is seen performing irrigation services that is believed to be in violation of N.C. General Statute ยง 89G.   This is the reason the Board welcomes all licensees and the public to report alleged violations.   As licensees working in the field, you are the eyes and ears of the Board; however, there are laws that the Board must follow. When it comes to the law, a licensing board must follow proper procedures and not broaden its authority, or there could be grave repercussions. 
An example of this is North Carolina Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission.  In this case, the dental board attempted to prevent non-dentists from offering teeth-whitening services, arguing that teeth-whitening services could only be performed by board-licensed dentists.  The dental board sent threatening letters to non-dentists who offered teeth-whitening services and even encouraged mall operators to evict kiosks used for teeth whitening.  In response to the dental board's attempt to quell competition, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against the dental board claiming that the dental board's actions violated anti-trust laws, were anti-competitive, and thus, unlawful.  After numerous years of litigation, the Supreme Court sided with the FTC.   
Please note that complaints should never be reported directly to investigators, board members, suppliers, or any other person other than the NCICLB Administrative office. Complaints must be submitted electronically through the Board website or may be printed on a complaint form by going to . The complaint forms ask very specific questions to help administration and the investigative committee ensure there is enough information to warrant an investigation.   It also gives the investigator and legal counsel a standardized format to work with when reviewing the complaint. 
Another big issue with these complaint forms is anonymity.  The Board recently voted that it would no longer accept and/or investigate anonymously submitted complaints.  The Board has found that having the complainant information provided is helpful to the investigators, as it allows them to contact the complainant and ask questions before making site visits as part of the investigation.  Furthermore, there is a good chance that an anonymous complaint will not hold up in a court of law.  Lastly, the Board fears that anonymous submission of complaints allows for the potential of complaints being submitted purely out of retribution instead of there being an actual violation. Some licensees have suggested that Board investigators drive around the State looking for violations.  This notion is not only costly, but also unrealistic. Below are some other comments for suggested changes that Administration has received over the years and an explanation of why the suggested changes are or are not feasible. 
Comment: The Board should go after the homeowner for hiring someone that is unlicensed. 
Answer: There is no law in North Carolina that says a homeowner cannot hire an unlicensed contractor.  Please understand that one of the reasons that the Board is in place is to protect the public health, safety and welfare, and not to punish them for not hiring licensed contractors.
Comment:  The Board needs to make the laws tougher.
Answer:  The Board is not allowed to lobby for changes to the law.  This can only be accomplished through Associations such as the Green Industry Council or Carolinas Irrigation Association.
Comment:  I drove by and saw an unlicensed contractor doing irrigation and the job is substandard.
Answer:  If a person is unlicensed, the only violation the Board has authority to discipline them for is unlicensed practice.  The Board cannot discipline an individual that is not licensed for minimum standard violations.  On the other hand, if this were a licensee, it would be important to report to the Board the minimum standard violations that were observed.  Though the Board does not expect the complainant to know all of the existing minimum standards violations, the Board requires more details other than just saying a job is substandard.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation, and following the proper procedures when filing a complaint to the NCICLB.
Get to Know the Board's Newest Member

Jeff Edwards entered the landscaping industry in 1994 working after school and during the summer in golf course maintenance at Duke, Prestonwood, and Falls Village.  He attended NC State University and studied turf management and horticulture.  Jeff created his own company, Lawn H2O, in 1999.  He is a NC Licensed Irrigation Contractor and NC Licensed Landscape Contractor.
Jeff grew up in the Triangle area and enjoys competitive sports. Outside of work, Jeff spends most of his "spare" time with his 13-year old boys (twins) and his 6-year old son.  He plays and coaches sports, enjoys good friends, and is a supporter of NC State athletics.
Another Addition to the Team
Rana M. Badwan comes to the Board from the NC Department of Justice. Mrs. Badwan is an experienced litigation attorney, having tried a number of jury and bench trials in Illinois and North Carolina.  Before her current position as Board Counsel, she worked as an attorney in the Tort Claims Section of the North Carolina Department of Justice where she defended civil actions for personal injury and property damage claims brought against county and city boards of education in North Carolina relating to school bus accidents.  

Before joining the North Carolina Department of Justice, Mrs. Badwan spent over six years as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago - Department of Law.  While working for the City of Chicago, she represented and defended employees from several City departments, including the police, fire, water, and streets and sanitation departments. She also defended the City against administrative appeals in State court and prosecuted both civil and criminal violations of the Chicago Municipal Code in the First Municipal District of the Circuit Court of Cook County.  

Rana is a Raleigh native and now lives in Cary with her husband, Hashem Meriesh, and their daughter Nawal.  She is a proud Wolfpacker and also a graduate of Stetson University College of Law.  


J.D., Stetson University College of Law, 2007
B.S. Biochemistry/ B.A. Chemistry (Magna Cum Laude), North Carolina State University, 2004

Welcome Jeff and Rana!!