Section 60-1.10 - Conferences for food vendors

60-1.10 Conferences for food vendors.

(a) If a local agency has reasonable grounds for believing that a participating vendor has committed an abuse of the WIC program, it shall send written notice to the department advising it of its findings together with any documentation.

(b) Upon receipt of the notice of suspected abuse, or on its own initiative, the department shall investigate the matter. If the department determines that an abuse has been committed and that a conference is advisable, it shall send a written notice to the vendor of the following:

(1) the specific abuse;

(2) that the vendor may have a conference with a designee of the commissioner at a specified date, time and place to discuss the matter;

(3) that the vendor may be represented by legal counsel at the conference;

(4) that the vendor will be given an explanation of the charges and an opportunity to refute, explain or acknowledge the alleged abuse;

(5) that upon either the department's or the vendor's request a verbatim record or tape recording of the conference will be maintained; and

(6) that if the vendor fails to appear at the conference or to respond in writing to the notice of conference within 15 days to arrange for an alternate date, the vendor will be disqualified from the program. A copy of the notice of conference shall be sent to the local agency together with a statement that a representative of such agency may participate in the conference.

(c) The matter may be resolved at the conference if the designee of the commissioner and the vendor agree that an abuse was not committed or that it was committed and both parties agree upon the corrective action to be taken and/or penalties to be assessed.

(d) If the matter is not resolved at the conference, the commissioner or his designee shall send a written notice to the food vendor informing the vendor of the following:

(1) it has been determined that the specific abuse charged was committed;

(2) that the vendor is disqualified from the WIC program, effective on a specific date for a specified period of time not exceeding three years;

(3) that the vendor has a right to request a fair hearing by contacting, orally or in writing, the Director, Investigative Services Unit, Bureau of Nutrition, New York State Department of Health, Tower Building, Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12237, (518) 474-3343, within 15 days of the date of the notice of suspension; and

(4) if a fair hearing is requested, the commissioner may stay the suspension until a decision is rendered after the hearing.
 

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