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Legal & Investigative Services - Consulting & Other Services

Administrative & Technical - Consulting & Other Services

 
Issue Date: 05/11/2020 Contract Number: TBD

Per Diem Hearing Officers


Description:

The New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) is responsible for administering New York state’s service network for the delivery of supports and services to individuals with developmental disabilities. Within this context, OPWDD conducts administrative hearings in response to requests by various parties who have the right to request a hearing pursuant to the NYS Mental Hygiene Law.   Typically, these hearings are conducted at OPWDD regional offices although hearings may be conducted in other settings if appropriate.  

OPWDD is seeking information from attorneys licensed to practice law in New York state, in good standing, who are interested in presiding over such hearings on an occasional, per diem basis. Per diem hearing officers are independent contractors and perform hearing officer duties under the authority of the Commissioner of OPWDD via the direction of the OPWDD Office of Counsel. Hearings are conducted in all regions of the state, and applicants should indicate locations of their availability; e.g. Metro NYC, Central NY, Western NY, Capital District.

 Duties:

The per diem hearing officer presides over fair and impartial administrative hearings at which parties may be represented by attorneys, assigned caregivers, or other authorized representatives. These are not “public hearings” and are not subject to the Open Meetings Law or the State Administrative Procedure Act. Duties include, but are not limited to, performing pre-hearing procedures as appropriate to the complexity of the case; taking testimony on the record through use of a court reporting service, marking and receiving documentary evidence during the hearing, and ensuring that all parties have a full and fair opportunity to be heard. Post-hearing, there may be an opportunity for the parties to submit legal arguments or additional documentation for consideration by the hearing officer. Once the record is complete, the hearing officer performs legal analysis, evaluates testimony and evidence to determine operative facts, and applies relevant legal authority with due consideration to agency policy directives, and prepares findings of fact, and conclusions of law. Depending upon the type of case, the hearing officer either issues a hearing determination directly to the parties or sends recommendations of appropriate relief for the Commissioner’s consideration in rendering the final determination. The hearing officer is responsible for drafting and rendering clear, succinct, thoughtfully-reasoned, and legally correct written decisions and recommendations within statutory deadlines.

The Office of Counsel designates a hearing officer to conduct each hearing and provides assistance as needed with regard to making hearing arrangements, arranging for transcription services, and identifying relevant statutes, regulations, and agency policies related to the assigned cases.

Examples of Hearing Duties:

Per diem hearing officers for OPWDD may conduct hearings pursuant to 14 NYCRR Part 602 regarding a provider’s license to provide services for individuals with developmental disabilities. Such hearings may concern license revocations, suspensions, non-renewals, application denials, or consideration of other regulatory penalties. Such hearings typically are conducted at OPWDD regional offices located statewide and may encompass one or more days per hearing. In addition, there may be pre-hearing or post-hearing questions or motions to manage and resolve. At the conclusion of these hearings, the hearing officer prepares an initial report, about which the parties may submit responses, which is then followed by a final report to the Commissioner, who then issues the decision to the parties.

Hearing officers may conduct hearings pursuant to NYS Mental Hygiene Law Section 41.34 regarding the siting of newly established community-based residences for individuals with developmental disabilities. These hearings address the need or suitability of a site proposed for the purpose of establishing a new community-based residence, and/or issues raised by the locality regarding the use of the site for that purpose. Hearings may be conducted at a public location such as a Town Hall, however most occur at OPWDD regional offices located statewide. These hearings typically take no more than one day. Once the record is complete, the hearing officer prepares a recommendation for the Commissioner, who then issues the ultimate decision to the parties.

Hearing officers may also be called upon to preside over matters involving proposed changes in services for specific individuals with developmental disabilities, or proposals for the discharge from a provider of a specific individual with developmental disabilities. These are held pursuant to 14 NYCRR 633.12. At the conclusion of these hearings, the hearing officer prepares a written determination and send this to the parties, who may appeal to the Commissioner.

Minimum Qualifications:

Graduation from an accredited law school with a LL.B or J.D. degree.

Admitted to practice law in New York State, in good standing, and able to demonstrate a minimum of five (5) years’ experience in the practice of law.

Experience with the NYS Mental Hygiene Law is preferred but not required.

Experience as a hearing officer / administrative law judge is preferred but not required.

Experience as a trial lawyer or as a litigator in contested administrative proceedings is preferred but not required.

Ability to travel to regional offices and assigned hearing locations. 

Compensation:  

Hearing officers are compensated a total of $400.00 per day for each day of hearing, plus $50.00 per hour for necessary pre-hearing and post-hearing work, based upon detailed time documentation.  Reimbursement for mileage, lodging and meal expenses, and all other travel is paid according to the NYS Travel Guidelines applicable at the time of each case. No per diem payment is made for cancelled or re-scheduled hearing dates. 

Application Process:

Please submit a cover letter, résumé, recent writing sample no more than ten (10) pages in length, and three (3) letters of professional reference. Inquiries and applications should be sent to: Deputy Counsel, Bureau of Policy & Regulatory Affairs, Office of Counsel, NYS OPWDD, 44 Holland Avenue, Albany, New York 12229, or electronically to marybeth.p.babcock@opwdd.ny.gov. All selected candidates will be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement and an affidavit of good standing prior to receipt of any hearing assignments.

Due Date: 11/04/2020

Contract Term: Per Diem

Location:

Ad Type: Continuous procurement solicitation


Primary Contact:     People with Developmental Disabilities, NYS Office for
Contract Office

Alexander Rosney
CMSI
500 Balltown Rd.
Schenectady, NY 12304
United States
Ph: 518-474-0915
Fax:
alexander.e.rosney@opwdd.ny.gov

Secondary contact:     People with Developmental Disabilities, NYS Office for
Contract Office
Fiscal Services-Contracts
Cynthia Isgro
Contract Management Specialist 2
500 Balltown Rd.
Schenectady, NY 12304
United States
Ph: 518-388-0961
Fax: 518-347-3451
cynthia.a.isgro@opwdd.ny.gov
Secondary contact:     People with Developmental Disabilities, NYS Office for
Bureau of Policy & Regulatory Affairs
Office of Counsel
Marybeth Babcock
Deputy Counsel
44 Holland Ave.
Albany, NY 12229
United States
Ph: 518-474-7700
Fax:
marybeth.p.babcock@opwdd.ny.gov