Chapter 122:12-1 Termination of Home Weatherization Programs
As used in the rules of the "Home Weatherization Assistance Program," "termination" means action taken by the office of energy and redevelopment in the community services division ("OERD /CSD ") to terminate the grantee's grant and cease payment in whole or in part after a public hearing on the record.
(A) Termination in general. The deputy chief of the community services division may terminate home weatherization assistance program ("HWAP") funding to a grantee in any of the following instances:
(1) The deputy chief of the community services division determines that the governing board of the grantee cannot or will not take the necessary action to bring the eligible entity into compliance with applicable requirements of 10 C.F.R. 600 with the requirements of any applicable program statute or rule, or with any other term or condition of HWAP funding within the time allowed by the community services division through its office of energy and redevelopment ("OERD /CSD ").
(2) The deputy chief of the community services division determines that the nature or extent of noncompliance is extreme and warrants immediate termination of HWAP funding.
(3) The grantee ceases to exist or becomes legally incapable of performing its responsibilities under the grant agreement.
(B) The deputy chief of the community services division shall provide, by certified mail, a written "Notification of Intent to Terminate" to the governing board of the grantee. The notification shall include the charges for such proposed action. Sections of the statutes, rules, regulations or contractual obligations that the grantee is charged with violating; a statement informing the grantee of its right to request a public hearing on the proposed termination by making a written request within thirty days of the time of the mailing of the notice. The notice shall also inform the party that the grantee may be represented by an attorney or by such other representative as designated by a majority of the governing board of the grantee.
(C) When any notice required by this rule to be sent by certified mail is returned because of inability to deliver, the notice required shall be sent by ordinary mail evidenced by a certificate of mailing to the chairperson of the grantee.
(D) The failure of the deputy chief of the community services division to give notice in the manner provided in this rule shall invalidate any termination order entered pursuant to such hearing.
(A) The hearing shall be within thirty days of the request, but not prior to fourteen days, of the date of the "Notification of Intent to Terminate" unless otherwise agreed upon in writing by both the division and the grantee.
(B) The hearing will be held at such places and at such times determined by the hearing officer to best serve the interests of the parties and the hearing office.
(C) Written or oral communications with the hearing officer by one party without the participation or notice to the other about the merits of the appeal are not permitted unless the communication concerns the hearing officer's administrative functions or procedures.
(D) The hearing officer may require the parties to appear at a prehearing conference to consider any of the following:
(1) Possibility of settlement;
(2) Simplifying and clarifying issues;
(3) Stipulations and admissions of facts;
(4) Limitations on evidence and witnesses that will be presented at the hearing;
(5) Any other matter that will aid in disposing of the appeal.
(E) After the hearing officer has called the hearing to order, the parties may be given an opportunity to present opening statements; thereafter, the parties shall present their evidence in the sequence determined by the hearing officer.
(F) When a witness is introduced to provide testimony or evidence in a contested case hearing, the witness shall, prior to testifying, be identified by name and address and shall take an oath of affirmation administered by the hearing officer.
(G) The hearing officer shall be a state of Ohio employee not involved in the decision to terminate.
(H) The hearing procedures shall include, but are not limited to, the following;
(1) For good cause, a hearing may be rescheduled by the hearing officer;
(2) The grantee may be represented at the hearing by: (a) an attorney; or (b) such other representative who is not an attorney and has been designated to represent the grantee by a majority of the governing board;
(3) To introduce into the record documentary evidence and bring witnesses to the hearing;
(4) To have records or documents relevant to the issues produced by their custodian when the records or documents are kept by or for the state, contractor or a subcontractor in the ordinary course of business and where prior reasonable notice has been given to the presiding officer;
(5) To question any witnesses or parties;
(6) The hearing officer shall not be bound by the "Ohio Rules of Evidence" and shall prescribe the conduct of the hearing;
(7) A transcript of the hearing will be made;
(8) Additional procedures may be set forth by the hearing officer or at the request of the parties if approved by the hearing officer in whose sole discretion hearing procedures shall rest.
(A) The hearing officer shall, within fifteen calendar days following the hearing, provide the deputy chief of the community services division and the chairperson of the governing board of the grantee with a proposed written decision. A proposed decision shall include findings of fact and regulations supporting such action. Findings of fact shall be based solely on the evidence in the record and on matters officially noticed in the record, and, if set forth in statutory language, shall be accompanied by a concise and explicit statement of underlying facts supporting the findings.
(B) Within seven calendar days of the receipt of the written decision of the hearing officer, the deputy chief of the community services division shall provide the director of the Ohio development services agency with a written recommendation.
(C) Within fifteen calendar days of the receipt of the written recommendation of the deputy chief of the community services division, the director of the Ohio development services agency , or his designee who shall not be an officer or employee within the community services division, shall issue a final decision on behalf of the state.
(D) The deputy chief of the community services division shall give prompt notice of the final decision of the director of the Ohio development services agency by mailing a copy of the decision by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the chairperson of the governing board of the grantee.
(E) In the event of a final decision to terminate funding, the deputy chief of the community services division, in accordance with 10 C.F.R. 600, shall provide notification of the effective date of termination and close-out instructions to the chairperson of the governing board of the grantee within seven days of the final decision of the director of the Ohio development services agency .