§ 46-23-20.1. Hearing officers — Appointment — Compensation — Subcommittee.
(a) The governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint two (2) hearing officers who shall be attorneys-at-law, who, prior to their appointment, shall have practiced law for a period of not less than five (5) years for a term of five (5) years; provided, however, that the initial appointments shall be as follows: one hearing officer shall be appointed for a term of three (3) years and one hearing officer shall be appointed for a term of five (5) years. The appointees shall be addressed as hearing officers.
(b) The governor shall designate one of the hearing officers as chief hearing officer. The hearing officers shall hear proceedings as provided by this section, and the council, with the assistance of the chief hearing officer, may promulgate such rules and regulations as shall be necessary or desirable to effect the purposes of this section.
(c) A hearing officer shall be devoted full time to these administrative duties, and shall not otherwise practice law while holding office nor be a partner nor an associate of any person in the practice of law.
(d) Compensation for hearing officers shall be determined by the unclassified pay board.
(e) Whenever the chairperson of the coastal resources management council or, in the absence of the chairperson, the commissioner of coastal resources makes a finding that the hearing officers are otherwise engaged and unable to hear a matter in a timely fashion, he or she may appoint a subcommittee which will act as hearing officers in any contested case coming before the council. The subcommittee shall consist of at least one member; provided, however, that in all contested cases an additional member shall be a resident of the coastal community affected. The city or town council of each coastal community shall, at the beginning of its term of office, appoint a resident of that city or town to serve as an alternate member of the aforesaid subcommittee should there be no existing member of the coastal resources management council from that city or town available to serve on the subcommittee. Any member of the subcommittee actively engaged in hearing a case shall continue to hear the case, even though his or her term may have expired, until the case is concluded and a vote taken thereon. Hearings before subcommittees shall be subject to all rules of practice and procedure as govern hearings before hearing officers.
History of Section.
P.L. 1990, ch. 461, § 11.