Section 200.21 Impartial hearing officer rates and procedures for suspension or revocation of certification
(a) Impartial hearing officer rates. Commencing July 1, 1995, impartial hearing officers shall be compensated in an amount not to exceed the applicable rate prescribed in a schedule of maximum rates approved by the Director of the Division of Budget.
(b) Procedures for suspension or revocation of impartial hearing officer certification. The certification of impartial hearing officers is subject to suspension or revocation on the grounds of incompetence or misconduct.
(1) Complaints alleging the misconduct or challenging the competence of an impartial hearing officer shall be made in a signed written statement to the commissioner and shall contain a concise statement and documentation of the facts upon which the complaint is based.
(2) Upon receipt of the complaint, the commissioner shall provide the impartial hearing officer with notice of the complaint and 30 days to respond thereto.
(3) The commissioner shall provide for review and, if warranted, further investigation of the complaint. The investigation process shall be conducted in accordance with the following:
(i) A summary of the complaint shall be sent to the impartial hearing officer and complainant.
(ii)Additional information may be requested from the complainant, as appropriate, which may include a request for a sworn affidavit.
(iii) The impartial hearing officer shall be provided an opportunity to respond in writing and provide documentation to the State Education Department. The response from the impartial hearing officer must be received not later than 30 days from the date the impartial hearing officer receives the complaint summary.
(iv) All relevant information shall be reviewed.
(v) A written final decision shall be sent to the impartial hearing officer and complainant that addresses each allegation in the complaint.
(vi) If, upon a review of the facts, the commissioner finds misconduct or incompetence on the part of the impartial hearing officer, the commissioner may issue a warning letter to the impartial hearing officer containing an order for corrective action, or, depending on such factors as the level of misconduct or incompetence and the number of prior findings of misconduct or incompetence against the impartial hearing officer, the certification of the impartial hearing officer may be suspended or revoked.
(4) In addition to complaints made to the commissioner in accordance with paragraph (1) of this subdivision, the commissioner, on his or her initiative, may suspend, revoke or take such other appropriate action with respect to the certification of the impartial hearing officer upon a finding that:
(i) the impartial hearing officer failed to comply with an order of the commissioner;
(ii) the impartial hearing officer failed to issue a decision in a timely manner where such delay was not due to extensions granted at the request of either party as documented in the record; or
(iii) the State Review Officer determined that an impartial hearing officer engaged in conduct which constitutes misconduct or incompetence.
(5) The commissioner, upon a finding that good cause has been established of either misconduct or incompetence on the part of the impartial hearing officer, shall revoke or suspend the certification of the impartial hearing officer, except that the commissioner may, in his discretion, issue either a warning or a conditional suspension of certification pending completion of a specified course of training where the imposition of a more severe penalty would not be justified.