Tim Craft was slated by the Marion Co. Republican Party earlier this year as the party's candidate for the District 3 Indianapolis City-County Council seat to challenge incumbent Councilor Christine Scales (R) in next month's primary election only months after he moved into the district. Craft touts himself as a licensed commercial real estate broker in his job as a Senior Associate with CBRE. An Advance Indiana search of the Indiana Real Estate Commission's online records calls into question Craft's claimed professional credentials. The only record found for Craft indicates he held a license to act as a real estate sales person, but that license expired on June 30, 2014 and is non-renewable.
Craft's credentials on CBRE's website lists him as a "licensed broker." Craft's Twitter account similarly identifies himself as a "license commercial real estate broker." Yet the Real Estate Commission's online license records indicate Craft has not been issued either a license to practice as a real estate broker or associate broker. Indiana's online licensing site is made available to the public for the purpose of verifying a person's licensed credentials and contains this statement: "This data is considered 'original source for accreditation purposes' and is current (continuously updated in 'real time' as it is changed)."
Indiana law is very clear that it is illegal to hold oneself out as holding a professional license without maintaining compliance with professional standards. Violation of Indiana's professional licensing law can result in the imposition of monetary fines as well as sanctions up to a permanent revocation of a practitioner's license. Either Indiana's online licensing website is inaccurate or someone has some explaining to do.
UPDATE: Advance Indiana is now told Craft was confronted by MIBOR about his failure to maintain an active license after he initially misrepresented his credentials and he admitted knowing that his license had expired. He blamed tougher continuing education requirements recently enacted. He claimed he only recently discovered that his license had expired, although those familiar with the licensing process find his claim incredulous. That doesn't explain why he would claim to be a broker when he only held a license as an agent. There's a big difference between the two.
Others familiar with industry practices are stunned a major real estate brokerage firm like CBRE wouldn't have in place a process for immediate detection of the licensure status of any of its brokers and agents to ensure none of them were practicing unlawfully. I'm told this is a very serious matter and Craft could face permanent revocation of his ability to practice in Indiana based upon past decision of the Real Estate Commission.
Further, Marion Co. GOP Chairman Kyle Walker knows of Craft's misrepresentation of his licensing problem during the slating process but has failed to advise others within the party and withdraw the party's support of him. Even worse, the Marion Co. GOP purged his primary opponent, Christine Scales, from its website listing of Republican elected officials because of its ongoing displeasure with her independent voting record on the council. If Walker had any decency, he should have immediately called an executive meeting of the party, disclosed Craft's dishonesty and moved to withdraw the party's support of him and request that he drop out of the council race. Instead, it appears he would rather deceive voters just like Craft has chosen to deceive them and the public. The Democrats know about Craft's problem and will most certainly use it against him, suggesting the Republican Party would rather forfeit the seat to the Democrats than see Scales re-elected to the council. It's pretty bad when Craft's deception but blind loyalty is more important than having a candidate with integrity like Scales.
As further explanation of the enhanced professional standards, Indiana changed its law to phase out the licensure category for sales agents under legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2012. All licensed sales agents were required to upgrade their license to the level of a broker no later than July 1, 2014. Apparently Craft failed to comply with that change in the law, which caused his license to automatically expire and not be subject to renewal. Licensed real estate professionals in Indiana now hold licenses as either managing brokers or brokers. Broker applicants are required to take 90 hours of pre-licensing education to get a broker's license and are required to perform 12 hours of continuing education annually thereafter in order to keep their license active.