The system of administrative hearings for the determination of eligibility for benefits under PSEBA shall be initiated by the village after the submission of a full and complete PSEBA application. An administrative hearing shall be held to adjudicate and determine whether the applicant is eligible for benefits under PSEBA. If the applicant is found eligible, the benefits shall be consistent with the Act.
   (A)   Record. The village shall ensure that all hearings are attended by a certified court reporter and a transcript of all proceedings shall be made by said certified court reporter and, if requested, a copy be provided to the applicant within 28 days of the date of the administrative hearing.
   (B)   Procedures. The village and the applicant shall be entitled to representation by counsel at said administrative hearing and present witnesses, testimony and documents, may cross-examine opposing witnesses, and may request the issuance of subpoenas to compel the appearance of relevant witnesses or the production of relevant documents.
   (C)   Evidence. The Illinois Rules of Evidence shall apply to the extent practicable unless, by such application, the hearing officer determines that application of the rule would be an injustice or preclude the introduction of evidence of the type commonly relied upon by a reasonably prudent person in the conduct of her or his affairs. Such determination shall be in the sole discretion of the hearing officer. The hearing officer must state on the record his or her reason for that determination.
   (D)   Final determination. A written determination by the hearing officer of whether the petitioning applicant is eligible for the benefits under PSEBA shall constitute a final administrative determination for the purpose of judicial review under the common law writ of certiorari.
   (E)   Burden of proof. At any administrative hearing, the applicant shall have the obligation and burden of proof to establish that the applicant is eligible and qualified to receive PSEBA benefits. The standard of proof in all hearings conducted under this subchapter shall be by the preponderance of the evidence.
   (F)   Administrative records. All records pertaining to the administrative process shall be held in a separate file under the applicant’s name with the village.
(Ord. 1925, passed 3-5-18)