110 CMR 10.03 - Hearings Officers
The Department shall employ one or more impartial hearings officers, whose sole duty shall be to conduct Fair Hearings statewide. No officer shall hear, or involve themselves in any way, in any matter in which they have, or have had, any direct or indirect interest, personal involvement or bias. Said officer shall attest to this impartiality in his or her written decision.
In the event that the assigned Fair Hearing Officer is unable to hear the matter due to a lack of impartiality, the officer shall notify the Director of Fair Hearings or designee, in writing, that the officer must recuse himself or herself from the matter. The Director of Fair Hearings or designee shall appoint another officer to hear the case.
The Hearing Office, as defined in 110 CMR 10.02, shall be under the direction of the Department's Director of Fair Hearings. Fair Hearing Officers employed by the Department shall have, at a minimum, two years of direct service experience as well as legal training and/or experience.
In addition, each Fair Hearing Officer shall receive the following hours of in-service training: 40 hours of pre-service training before he or she is eligible to conduct Fair Hearings, and, on an annual basis, shall receive 25 hours of training in the following areas, including but not limited to: legal/administrative, trauma/abuse, health, poverty, conflict resolution, and conflict of interest. However, the failure to comply with 110 CMR 10.03 shall not prevent an individual from serving as a Hearing Officer.
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