Russ Friedewald, Executive Director, Illinois Board of Examiners

The ALD News recently spoke with Russ Friedwald, the newest member of the ALD Taskforce regarding his experience in working with regulation.

Q: Russ, you served as head of the licensing boards representing several professions, correct? Did any of them have an ALD equivalent?
A: I was Director of Licensing for the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation for 16 years. We regulated approximately 50 professional acts encompassing 150+/- professional licensing categories including accounting. This was an umbrella agency and we communicated with many national organizations, some of which were developing or trying to develop disciplinary databases. At the time I left in 2000, there were no functioning ALD type programs with the exception of the mandatory reporting of medical discipline.

Q: How would you see the ALD being used in Illinois?
A: Since budget constraints in Illinois have severely limited the IDFPR’s ability to investigate complaints, I believe the ALD would be a great avenue to assist in this endeavor.

Q: What barriers to enforcement do you foresee for those states that do not adopt the ALD?
A:With mobility at the forefront of the profession, the ALD is a great tool in tracking individuals who would otherwise be able to escape their past simply by moving from one state to another.

Q: What advice would you share with fellow Executive Directors?
A: Illinois currently does not participate in the ALD, primarily due to technical issues related to privacy. I will be working with the ILDFPR for implementation of ALD and would encourage other states to do the same. Total participation by states would go a long way toward shoring up an otherwise weak national enforcement program

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