45 CFR § 96.62 - Presiding officer.
(a) A Department employee to whom the Secretary delegates such authority, or any other agency employee designated by an employee to whom such authority is delegated, may serve as the presiding officer and conduct a hearing under this subpart.
(b) The presiding officer is to be free from bias or prejudice and may not have participated in the investigation or action that is the subject of the hearing or be subordinate to a person, other than the Secretary, who has participated in such investigation or action.
(c) The Secretary is not precluded by this section from prior participation in the investigation or action that is the subject of the hearing.
(d) A different presiding officer may be substituted for the one originally designated under § 96.61 of this part without notice to the parties.