Who can represent me in the proceedings?
A.R.S. §41-783-H. states an employee may represent himself or designate a representative, not necessarily an attorney, before any board hearing or any quasi-judicial hearing held pursuant to this section providing that no fee may be charged for any services rendered in connection with such hearing by any designated representative who is not an attorney admitted to practice.
When does the board meet?
The parties are notified ten (10) days in advance of the time and place of the board meeting at which the appeal and/or complaint will be decided. The board does not take new evidence at the open public meeting; only hears argument. Argument is limited to five (5) minutes unless otherwise stated by the Board chair. Sign-in sheets for those who wish to speak will be provided at the meeting. The Board’s decision (or the final decision of the agency) may be appealed by either party to the Superior Court in the county of residence as provided in Title 12, Chapter 7, Article 6.
Is there a record of the proceedings?
The proceedings are digitally recorded by the hearing officer. A digital audio copy of the record is available upon request. If the party wants the record transcribed, an entity, other than the State Personnel Board, may be employed by the requesting party to produce the transcription.
How do I reschedule a hearing?
All requests to reschedule a hearing shall be made through and approved by the assigned hearing officer. The hearing officer shall contact the State Personnel Board office when a hearing has been rescheduled. The State Personnel Board office will send a notice to all parties indicating the place, date, and time of the rescheduled hearing. Even if both parties agree to reschedule a hearing, the hearing officer's approval is required and is not necessarily automatic.
What is the role of the hearing officer?
Pursuant to law, the State Personnel Board has the authority to utilize hearing officers to conduct hearings. The hearing officer is authorized to take evidence and exercise the rights prescribed by A.R.S. §12-2212. The hearing officer calls the proceedings to order and determines which party has the burden of proof as well as the burden of going forward. The State bears the burden of proof in all appeals filed from dismissals, demotions, and suspensions of more than 80 working hours. The employee or former employee bears the burden of proof in prohibited personnel practice complaints.
The hearing may take the following format:
- Each party makes a brief opening statement as to what its respective case is to show.
- The moving party presents testimony and evidence with cross examination by the opposing party.
- The opposing party similarly proceeds with its case.
- Each side briefly sums up its respective case and the hearing is concluded.
The hearing officer subsequently prepares a written recommendation containing Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and a Recommendation. This report is filed with the State Personnel Board office and the matter is then scheduled to be heard by the Board at its next regularly scheduled open meeting.
How do I obtain subpoenas?
Once an appeal and/or complaint hearing has been scheduled, either party may request subpoenas. The Board requires that a Praecipe be completed and signed by the requesting party before the issuance can be made. This form is available on the "Forms" tab on this website. The board will prepare the subpoenas and return them to the requesting party for proper service.
What happens at a hearing?
After receipt of an appeal or complaint, the State Personnel Board will assign a hearing officer and set a hearing date. Notification will be e-mailed to the parties. Hearings are open to the public unless the appellant/complainant requests it be confidential, and shall be informal with the technical rules of evidence not applying to the proceedings except the rule of privilege recognized by law.
Both the appellant/complainant (employee) and respondent (agency) may be present to examine and cross examine witnesses and to submit exhibits. Witnesses may be compelled to attend by subpoena, which may be issued by the State Personnel Board office. (See question: "How Do I Obtain Subpoenas?") The testimony of witnesses are under oath. If a party does not appear at the hearing, the hearing officer’s recommendation will be based on a review of the record and the presentation of evidence by the party who is present.
If I have a covered disciplinary action, how do I file?
Appeal from a disciplinary action: An appeal shall be filed in writing, either by a letter mailed to the State Personnel Board's office, an e-mail sent to the State Personnel Board's office or a completed Appeal/Complaint form found on our "Forms" tab on this website. An appeal must be received in the Board's office by the 10th working day from the effective date of the disciplinary action. The appeal shall state the facts with specificity upon which the appeal is based, along with the action being requested of the Board.
Complaint from a prohibited personnel practice (whistleblower): A whistleblower complaint shall be filed in writing, either by a letter mailed to the State Personnel Board's office, an e-mail sent to the State Personnel Board's office or a completed Appeal/Complaint form found on our "Forms" tab on this website. A complaint must be received in the Board's office by the 10th calendar day from the effective date of the prohibited personnel action.