Duties of Hearing Officer
(1)The Council shall appoint a hearing officer to conduct a contested case proceeding on behalf of the Council or to compile the record and recommend resolution of objections to the record of a local land use proceeding held pursuant to ORS 469.503 (Requirements for approval of energy facility site certificate)(2)(a). The Council may appoint a Council member, an employee of the Department of Energy, or some other person or persons as it sees fit.
(2)A hearing officer shall take all necessary action to:
(a)Ensure a full, fair and impartial hearing;
(b)Facilitate presentation of evidence;
(c)Comply with statutory time limits on Council decisions;
(d)Maintain order; and
(e)Assist the Council in making its decision.
(3)At the commencement of a contested case hearing, the hearing officer shall explain the issues involved in the hearing and the matters that the parties must either prove or disprove.
(4)The hearing officer shall maintain a complete and current record of all motions, rulings, testimony and exhibits during the course of the hearing. The hearing officer shall keep the Council informed regularly on the status of the contested case.
(5)The hearing officer is authorized to carry out the responsibilities assigned in this rule, including but not limited to the authority to:
(a)Administer oaths and affirmations;
(b)Rule on offers of proof and receive evidence;
(c)Order depositions and other discovery to be taken and to issue subpoenas;
(d)Order and control discovery, as provided in OAR 137-003-0025 (Discovery in Contested Cases Hearing), and all other aspects of the contested case hearing, the order of proof, and the conduct of the participants;
(e)Dispose of procedural matters and rule on motions;
(f)Call and examine witnesses;
(g)Hold conferences, including one or more prehearing conferences as provided in OAR 137-003-0035 (Prehearing Conferences), before or during the hearing for settlement, simplification of issues, or any other purpose the hearing officer finds necessary. The hearing officer may limit the issues of the contested case including, for a contested case proceeding on an application for a site certificate, determining those issues that have been raised with sufficient specificity in the public hearing;
(h)Continue the hearing from time to time;
(i)Issue protective orders in accordance with the standards of Rule 36(C) of the Oregon Rules of Civil Procedure.
(j)At the request of the Council, or upon motion of a party or limited party for good cause shown as provided in OAR 345-015-0062 (Reopening Record Prior to Decision), and with reasonable notice to all parties, reopen the hearing for reception of further evidence on issues identified in the notice at any time prior to final decision by the Council;
(k)Within the hearing officer’s discretion, or at the request of the Council, certify any question to the Council for its consideration and disposition;
(l)Prepare and serve upon the parties a proposed order addressing those issues enumerated in the request for contested case hearing and any additional issues approved by the hearing officer, including findings of fact, findings of ultimate fact and conclusions of law; and
(m)Take any other action consistent with the Council’s governing statutes and the Council’s rules.
(6)Notwithstanding the provisions of OAR 137-003-0055 (Ex Parte Communications)(1), following the issuance of a notice of contested case, the hearing officer shall enter into the record the substance of any significant contact with Department staff or the parties from that point forward concerning facts in the record.
(7)The Council may, on its own motion or upon the motion of a party or limited party, remove a hearing officer if it determines that the hearing officer is not competent to conduct the proceeding, is demonstrably biased for or against any party, or is otherwise unable to conduct the proceeding.
Rule 345-015-0023 — Duties of Hearing Officer,