Title: Section 343.8 - Hearing officer.

343.8 Hearing officer. (a) The hearing must be conducted by a hearing officer who is an attorney employed by the department for that purpose, and has not been involved in any way with the action in question. The hearing officer has all the powers conferred by law and regulations of the department to administer oaths, issue subpoenas, require the attendance of witnesses and the production of records, rule upon requests for adjournment, rule upon objections to the introduction of evidence and to otherwise regulate the hearing, preserve requirements of due process and effectuate the purpose and provisions of applicable law.

(b) A party to a hearing may make a request to a hearing officer that the hearing officer remove himself or herself from presiding at the hearing.

(1) The grounds for removing a hearing officer are that such hearing officer has:

(i) previously dealt in any way with the substance of the matter which is the subject of the hearing except in the capacity of hearing officer; or

(ii) any interest in the matter, financial or otherwise, direct or indirect, which will impair the independent judgment of the hearing officer; or

(iii) displayed bias or partiality to any party to the hearing.

(2) The hearing officer may independently determine to remove himself or herself from presiding at a hearing on the grounds set forth in paragraph (1) of this subdivision.

(3) The request for removal made by a party must:

(i) be made in good faith; and

(ii) be made at the hearing in writing or orally record; and

(iii) describe in detail the grounds for requesting that the hearing officer be removed.

(4) Upon receipt of a request for removal, the hearing officer must determine on the record whether to remove himself or herself from the hearing.

(5) If the hearing officer determines not to remove himself or herself from presiding at the hearing, the hearing officer must advise the party requesting removal that the hearing will continue but the request for removal will automatically be reviewed by the general counsel or the general counsel's designee.

(6) The determination of the hearing officer not to remove himself or herself will be reviewed by the general counsel or the general counsel's designee. Such review will include review of written documents submitted by the parties and the transcript of the hearing.

(7) The general counsel or the general counsel's designee must issue a written determination of whether the hearing officer should be removed from presiding at the hearing within 15 business days of the close of the hearing.

(8) The written determination of the general counsel or the general counsel's designee will be made part of the record.

Volume

VOLUME A (Title 18)

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