(A)   The Office of the Building Inspector shall be responsible for the administration of the provisions of I.C. 36-7-9-1 through and inclusive of 36-7-9-29.
   (B)   The Building Inspector, as the chief administrative officer, is hereby designated as the Enforcement Authority for the Office of Building Inspector under I.C. 36-7-9-2.
   (C)   The Mayor shall designate a hearing officer to serve as the Hearing Authority pursuant to I.C. Code 36-7-9-2 in the event orders are issued by the Enforcement Authority which necessitates an administrative hearing to be held under I.C. 36-7-9-7. When appointing a hearing officer, the Mayor shall give preference to an attorney who is licensed to practice law, who has experience in serving as a hearing officer, and who can serve impartially.
   (D)   The hearing officer shall be responsible for conducting the administrative hearing in accordance with and pursuant to I.C. 36-7-9-7. An audio recording of the hearing shall be made. The hearing officer shall conduct the hearing in an informal manner and without strict adherence to the technical rules of evidence and procedure which govern judicial proceedings. The hearing officer shall rule on the admissibility of any offer of proof, and on other motions, and shall exclude evidence that is irrelevant, immaterial, unduly repetitious, or excludable on constitutional or statutory grounds. Request for discovery may be permitted by the hearing officer, if permissible under the Indiana Rules of Trial Procedure in the context of an administrative hearing and if a request for discovery is made in compliance with such rules. Improper requests for discovery may be denied by the hearing officer. In addition, the hearing officer may take official notice of any section of the city’s building code, standards and enforcement contained in this Chapter 151, and any law or fact that could be judicially noticed in the courts. The testimony of each party and witness shall be made under oath or affirmation.
   (E)   At the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer may make findings and take action to affirm an enforcement order, rescind the order, or modify the order in a manner that is less stringent. The hearing officer may also impose civil penalties of up to $2,500 per civil penalty as may be permitted pursuant to I.C. 36-7-9-7 and I.C. 36-7-9-7.5, collection of which may be made in the form of collection of a judgement pursuant to I.C. 36-7-9-13 or may be processed and collected as a special assessment pursuant to I.C. 36-7-9-13.5. The decision of the hearing officer shall be based exclusively upon the evidence of record in the hearing and on matters officially noticed therein. Certain action taken by the hearing officer shall be considered final and may be appealed pursuant to I.C. 36-7-9-8.
(Prior Code § 155.02) (Ord 1983-9, passed 6-7-1983; Ord 2007-8, passed 10-2-2007; Ord 2018-9, passed 4-17-2018; Ord. 2019-19, passed 11-4-2019)