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RULE §215.41Presiding Officials

(a) Hearing officer. The term "hearing officer" as used in this section includes the board when presiding over a hearing.

(b) Powers and duties. A hearing officer shall conduct fair hearings and shall take all necessary action to administer the disposition of contested cases. A hearing officer's powers include, but are not limited to the authority to:

  (1) administer oaths;

  (2) examine witnesses;

  (3) rule upon the admissibility of evidence;

  (4) rule upon motions; and

  (5) regulate the course of the contested case hearing and the conduct of the parties and their authorized representatives.

(c) Recusal.

  (1) If the hearing officer determines that he or she should be recused from a particular contested case hearing, the hearing officer shall withdraw from the contested case by giving notice on the record and by notifying the chief hearing officer.

  (2) A party may file a motion to recuse the hearing officer. The motion to recuse shall be supported by an affidavit setting forth the alleged grounds for disqualification. A copy of the motion shall be served on the hearing officer who shall have 10 days to reply, and a copy shall be served on all parties or their authorized representatives.

  (3) If the hearing officer contests the alleged grounds for disqualification, the chief hearing officer shall promptly determine the validity of the grounds alleged and render a decision.

(d) Substitution of hearing officer. If the hearing officer is disqualified, dies, becomes disabled, or withdraws during any contested case proceeding, the chief hearing officer may appoint another hearing officer to preside over the remainder of the contested case proceeding.

Source Note: The provisions of this §215.41 adopted to be effective February 11, 2010, 35 TexReg 883; amended to be effective March 11, 2014, 39 TexReg 1728; amended to be effective February 13, 2017, 42 TexReg 571

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