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(a) The Director shall have the authority to appoint an attorney licensed to practice law in the State of (State name) to serve as a hearing officer in an action for refusal to issue or renew a license or to discipline a licensee. The hearing officer shall have full authority to conduct the hearing. The hearing officer shall report his or her findings and recommendations to the Board and the Director. The Board shall have 60 days from receipt of the report to review the report of the hearing officer and present its findings of fact, conclusions of law and recommendations to the Director. If the Board fails to present its report within the 60-day period, the Director shall issue an order based on the report of the hearing officer. If the Director determines that the Board's report is contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence, he or she may issue an order in contravention of the Board's report.
(b) Nothing in this act precludes the Board from appointing a private hearing officer or arbitrator from a list of knowledgeable impartial persons to adjudicate issues dealing with complaints regarding licensee competence. The Board will first order the staff to attempt to mediate the dispute before an arbitrator is appointed. The arbitrator’s decision will be final to the extent permitted by law.