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RULE §139.33Informal Settlement Conferences

If, after evaluation of the respondent's response a violation appears evident, the executive director shall initiate enforcement action. Before proceeding with the formal contested case hearing process, the respondent shall have an opportunity to resolve the allegations informally.

  (1) The executive director may also offer the respondent a Consent Order that will be presented to the board for acceptance or rejection. If the respondent declines such an offer, or if the board rejects it, the procedures in paragraphs (2) or (3) of this section will be followed.

  (2) The respondent may request an informal settlement conference to present additional evidence and discuss details of the allegation. Upon receipt of such a request the executive director shall schedule a conference at the board office or other location, and shall appoint an informal settlement conference committee composed of one board member or board representative, the executive director or executive director's designee, and legal counsel; the committee may meet and act provided that no more than one committee member is absent. Other persons designated by the respondent or the executive director may be present as resources or as legal counsel to respondent. The informal settlement conference committee shall hear the details of the allegations and shall recommend:

    (A) dismissal;

    (B) a proposal for an Agreed Board Order for disciplinary actions that will be presented to the board for acceptance or rejection; or

    (C) scheduling of a formal hearing.

  (3) Any board action under this subsection which is not informally disposed by Agreed or Consent Order, will be considered a contested case and will be handled in accordance with applicable law and board rules.

Source Note: The provisions of this §139.33 adopted to be effective May 20, 2004, 29 TexReg 4882; amended to be effective December 21, 2008, 33 TexReg 10181; amended to be effective December 25, 2020, 5 TexReg 9206

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