Member censured for violating AIA Code of Ethics

As of July 24, 2019, AIA member Jerry Cicciari, AIA, has been censured by the National Ethics Council (“Council”) for violating Rule 1.101 of the Institute’s 2012 Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct (“Code of Ethics”).

Rule 1.101 of the 2012 Code of Ethics states:

In practicing architecture, Members shall demonstrate a consistent pattern of reasonable care and competence, and shall apply the technical knowledge and skill which is ordinarily applied by architects of good standing practicing in the same locality.

The person raising the complaint in this case engaged Mr. Cicciari’s services. At the time, the complainant’s spouse was undergoing treatment for cancer. The complainant and his spouse had planned to relocate to their son’s home to be closer to the hospital where treatment would occur. The family decided to build an extension on the back of the home for this purpose.

Mr. Cicciari was paid a retainer to commence his professional services. There was an oral agreement under which Mr. Cicciari would perform the necessary architectural services to create an extension to the existing colonial house. The complainant also understood that Mr. Cicciari would be the “construction manager” for the project. Evidence in this case showed a pattern of erroneous accounting on Mr. Cicciari’s part.

Further, Mr. Cicciari’s description of himself as a construction manager performing inspections confused and possibly inflated his role as an architect observing construction as ordinarily applied in such a situation. Construction management is a term of art that is commonly understood among architects as an individual, team, or entity contracted with the owner to serve as an advisor with respect to construction and assumes financial responsibility for it. Mr. Cicciari billed the complainant for inspections as the complainant’s construction manager; however, there was no evidence as to any results of inspections, fiscal responsibility over construction, or construction advice given to the complainant. While Mr. Cicciari may have visited the site, the complainant did not experience or understand the value gained from these visits.

This, coupled with promises that were not fulfilled together with demands of payment already made, showed a carelessness beyond that ordinarily applied by architects in good standing.  The National Ethics Council thus found that Mr. Cicciari had violated Rule 1.01.  

The National Ethics Council imposed the penalty of censure on Mr. Cicciari.

Ethics and integrity are essential to our work. Visit the AIA Code of Ethics.

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