A hearing officer of a contested case shall be assigned in
accordance with applicable law, including Occupations Code, §2301.704.
The term "hearing officer" as used in this section includes the Board
when presiding over a hearing.
(1) Powers and duties. Hearing officers shall have
the duty to conduct fair and impartial hearings, and the power to
take all necessary action to avoid delay in the disposition of proceedings
and to maintain order. Hearing officers shall have all powers necessary
to these ends, including the authority to administer oaths; to examine
witnesses; to rule upon the admissibility of evidence; to rule upon
motions; and to regulate the course of the hearing and the conduct
of the parties and counsel.
(2) Disqualification. If a hearing officer determines
that the hearing officer should be recused from a particular hearing,
the hearing officer shall withdraw from the proceeding by giving notice
on the record and by notifying the appropriate department office of
the withdrawal. Whenever a party deems the hearing officer to be disqualified
to preside in a particular hearing, the party may file a motion to
disqualify and remove the hearing officer. The motion to disqualify
and remove shall be supported by affidavits setting forth the alleged
grounds for disqualification. A copy of the motion shall be served
on the hearing officer who shall have 10 days within which to reply.
If the hearing officer contests the alleged grounds for disqualification,
the department shall promptly determine the validity of the grounds
alleged, such decision being determinative of the issue.
(3) Substitution of hearing officer. If the hearing
officer is disqualified, dies, becomes disabled, or withdraws during
any proceeding, the department may appoint another hearing officer
who may perform any function remaining to be performed without the
necessity of repeating any proceedings in the case.