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(A) Continuance. At the hearing officer’s discretion or upon good cause shown, the hearing officer may continue the hearing by written notice before the scheduled hearing or orally at or during the hearing.
(B) Hearing. At the hearing, the officer or employee who issued the order, citation, decision, or determination or his or her designee shall present evidence in support of the findings or reasons upon which the order, citation, decision, or determination was based. The appellant, or any individual authorized in writing to represent the appellant, may then present evidence in support of the contentions made in the notice of appeal. The hearing shall be informally conducted.
(C) Rights of parties. The parties and anyone who participates in a hearing may be represented by an attorney or other person of the parties’ choice. The parties have a right to appear, testify, present evidence, examine and cross-examine witnesses, and present written or oral arguments. Additionally, the parties may request and the hearing officer may allow the parties to submit written briefs, either before, during or after the hearing.
(D) Evidence. The rules of evidence provided by state statute in civil and criminal actions shall not apply, except that irrelevant and unduly repetitious evidence may be excluded in the hearing officer’s discretion.
(E) Scope. The scope of the hearing shall be limited to the order, citation, decision, or determination being appealed, the grounds for relief raised in the notice of appeal and any specific requirements of this code.
(F) Burden of proof; burden of evidence. Except where otherwise provided in this code, the burden of proof and production of evidence shall be with the city. Except where otherwise provided in the code, the burden of proof shall be preponderance of the evidence.
(G) Waiver of rights. The failure of the appellant or any interest party to raise an objection to the hearing officer either before or during the hearing of any defect in notice of procedure provided under the code or at law or in equity shall be deemed a waiver of the defect. For purposes of a waiver of objection in this division, defect in procedure shall include a claim that the hearing officer is biased when facts regarding the claimed bias is known or readily discoverable by the appellant or interest party or has been published to the appellant or interest party by the city. An objection of bias of the hearing officer shall be raised to the City Manager.
(H) Failure of appellant to appear. Unless otherwise provided in the code, if the appellant fails to appear for the hearing at the time and place noticed, the hearing officer in his or her discretion may conduct the hearing to a conclusion or may dismiss the appeal. If the appeal is dismissed, the order, citation, decision, determination appealed from shall become final and effective on the date of the hearing. Within ten days from the date of the hearing and upon a showing of good cause, the hearing officer may set aside his or her decision or dismissal upon the appellant’s failure to appear and may reschedule the appeal for hearing.
(I) Recording. The proceedings at the hearing shall be recorded to cassette tape, a CD-ROM, a video tape, a DVD or similar media. In addition to any one of the above, the proceedings may also be recorded by a certified shorthand reporter. If an appellant requests a certified shorthand reporter, the costs of the reporter shall be borne by the appellant.
(J) Communication with hearing officer. Other than at the hearing, there shall be no direct oral communication between the parties and the hearing officer on any matter related to the hearing without both parties being present. Any written communication to the hearing officer by a party shall be copied and served to the other party. This limitation shall not apply to the City Clerk or other designee who shall serve as liaison with the hearing officer.
(K) Record keeper. The city shall maintain the administrative record of the hearing.
(Ord. 12-101, passed 11-7-2012)