Man Charged With Faking Credentials

December 02, 2009|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella ,

A 51-year-old Westminster man has been charged with using fake credentials to get hired as a professional engineer by at least three firms in Maryland, the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation said Tuesday.

A Howard County grand jury returned a three-count indictment charging Lawrence D. Novakowski, 51, with one count of practicing without a license and two counts of counterfeiting a public seal, according to the State Board for Professional Engineers, a part of the labor department's division of occupational and professional licensing that investigated. Novakowski was released on his own recognizance and ordered not to work at any engineering firm.

The board's investigation found that Novakowski, an electrician with no education or training in engineering, was used as a troubleshooter in the field and had testified as an expert witness in court cases stemming from electrical fires. He was charged with practicing without a license between May and November but might have worked as a professional engineer for as long as five years.

The board found that Novakowski supplied employers with a phony Johns Hopkins University transcript that he ordered over the Internet, and fake licensing documents that contained an authentic Maryland state seal and an authentic professional engineer's license number. That number belonged to a person who was last licensed in 1998.

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