§ 5-108. Hearing.

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§ 5-108. Hearing.

   (A) At the time and place set for hearing, the commission, or the master when the hearing is before a master, shall proceed with a public hearing which as nearly as may be shall conform to the rules of procedure and evidence governing the trial of civil actions in the district courts, whether or not the respondent has filed an answer or appears at the hearing. The Attorney General or special counsel shall present the evidence in support of the charges set forth in the complaint. A respondent shall be entitled to be represented by counsel. Any employee, officer or agent of respondent's court, any law enforcement officer, any public officer or employee, and any attorney, who testifies as a witness in such hearing, whether called by the Attorney General or special counsel or by the respondent, shall be subject to cross-examination by either party in like manner as an opposite party under the rules of civil procedure.

   (B) The failure of the respondent to answer or to appear at the hearing, shall not, standing alone, be taken as evidence of the truth of the facts alleged to constitute grounds for commission action. The failure of the respondent to answer, to testify in his own behalf, or to submit to a medical examination requested by the commission or the master, may be considered as an evidentiary fact, unless it appears that such failure was due to circumstances unrelated to the facts in issue at the hearing.

   (C) The proceedings at the hearing shall be reported by a court reporter designated by the commission or master.

   (D) When the hearing is before the commission, not less than a majority of the members shall be present while the hearing is in actual progress. Procedural and other interlocutory rulings shall be made by the chairman, the acting chairman in the absence of the chairman, and any member designated by the chairman in the absence of both the chairman and the acting chairman, unless one or more calls for a vote, in which event, such rulings shall be made by a majority vote of those present.