Gordon Pethick, a member for over 30 years had a sale transaction with a repeat client fall through because the buyer tried to pass a bad cheque. The client was informed via telephone, but not in writing. The client sought out a settlement and filed a complaint with RECA and REIX suggesting Pethick had not informed them of the bad cheque. On April 15, 2015, RECA notified Pethick of a conduct review.
On March 22, 2016, Pethick received an assessment of a $5,000 administrative penalty and called to inform RECA that he considered the fine aggressive for lack of paperwork.
RECA administration withdrew the fine and referred the matter to a Hearing Panel and told Pethick it would be a short, informal affair.
The 2016 Hearing Panel suspended Pethick for 25 days and levied fines and costs of $24,000 for breaching Rule 41(b) and (d). During hearing, RECA administration misreported Pethick’s only previous RECA infraction, suggesting a pattern of dishonesty.
Pethick felt he had been mislead and denied procedural fairness.
During his suspension, Pethick lost five or six buyers he was in the midst of working with and after the suspension was told that by another prospective client that the sanctions were the reason he was not chosen.
AREA’s Member Advocacy program stepped in to assist Pethick.
In 2018, an Appeal Panel quashed the 2016 decision and ordered a new Hearing Panel to consider the matter.
During this time REIX uncovered that Pethick’s client (the original RECA complainant) had been lying in discovery, that he undeniably knew about the bad cheque, and that it was the buyer who had fooled everyone. When notified of REIX’s investigative findings, the client filed a discontinuance on his REIX claim.
The 2020 Hearing Panel found Pethick only guilty of Rule 41(b) – incompetent service – and not of any breach of fiduciary duties. RECA administration convinced the panel that they should not consider the suspension when assessing fines. He was ordered to pay fines and appeal costs of $12,600 and complete the RECA’s consumer relationships training.
The 2022 Appeal Panel quashed the fines, which left Pethick with appeal costs of $6,600 and completion of the RECA’s consumer relationships training.