|Ealing Architect With 'Severe Lack of Integrity' Struck Off|
Cristobal Mendoza Cruz, kept money overpaid by client
An Ealing based architect has been struck off the professional register for three years after failing to payback a client.
The Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) hearings of the Architects Registration Board (ARB) found that Cristobal Mendoza Cruz, principal of Menza Architecture based in The Mall in W5 ' displayed an entrenched and severe lack of integrity' and found him guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.
The committee found he failed to comply with a ‘reasonable demand’ to refund an overpayment for a domestic extension to his client. He then ‘inappropriately’ suggested in a letter in March that he would only return the overpaid money if the complaint to the ARB was withdrawn.
The PCC also found that Mendoza Cruz didn't account for the overpaid money and failed to prove the money was kept in a separate client account.
The architect also failed to promote the website of his practice, Menza Architecture Limited, in a truthful manner. It had stated that the practice was made up of a ‘team of ARB Registered Architects’, yet he was the only one on the register.
During the hearings, Mendoza Cruz – who has repoeredly still not repaid the money and refused to do so while the complaint was ongoing – denied all the allegations against him and did not apologise to his client.
The PCC ruling stated: ‘In the light of his steadfast and ongoing refusal to repay the complainant, the committee considers that the respondent has displayed an entrenched and severe lack of integrity.
‘The respondent’s actions have caused the complainant significant financial and emotional stress and she had found the respondent’s manner particularly upsetting.’
It added that Mendoza Cruz’s failings were ‘fundamentally incompatible’ with being a registered architect, recommending that he should not be considered for readmission to the ARB for a minimum of three years.
Mendoza Cruz refused to comment on the ruling to The Architect's Journal.
We have also requested comment.
19th December 2016