A. The chairperson or acting chairperson of the commission shall conduct the hearing in an orderly manner and shall rule on all procedural matters, objections and motions made by any party.
B. The testimony of all witnesses shall be under oath. All documents which any party wishes to have the commission review as part of the evidence shall be introduced as exhibits. A verbatim record of the proceeding shall be kept.
C. All portions of the hearing shall be open to the public, with the following exceptions:
1. Where all parties agree to a closed hearing; or
2. Where the chairperson determines that, because of the sensitive nature of a witness’ testimony, the hearing should be closed during that testimony in order to prevent unnecessary embarrassment to the witness; or
3. Where the commission determines to exclude witnesses who have not yet testified or who may be recalled to testify during the testimony of other witnesses; or
4. During the deliberations of the commission.
D. The chairperson shall determine the proper order of the hearing. As a general rule, the hearing shall proceed as follows:
1. The appointing authority and the accused shall each be offered the opportunity to make an oral opening statement, setting out briefly a statement of the facts, disputes and issues in the case. Either party may waive opening statement.
2. After opening statements, the appointing authority shall introduce all evidence in the case in chief.
3. After the close of the appointing authority’s case, the accused may then introduce all evidence in the case in chief.
4. Rebuttal evidence from the appointing authority will be received after the close of the accused’s case in chief.
5. Upon completion of rebuttal testimony and evidence, each party shall be given an opportunity to make a closing statement to the commission setting forth that party’s view of the evidence and its relation to the issues before the commission.
6. After completion of closing statements, the commission shall deliberate and render a decision.
E. All matters to be proven by any party shall be proven by a preponderance of the evidence. The appointing authority bears the burden of sustaining a removal, suspension, demotion or discharge.
F. In conducting the hearing, the commission shall not be bound by the technical rules of evidence. The commission may receive and examine any and all evidence which it determines to be relevant to the issues before the commission.
G. During presentation of testimony, each party shall be allowed direct examination, if the witness is called by the party in the case in chief or rebuttal, or cross-examination, if the witness is called by an adverse party in such party’s case in chief or rebuttal. In addition, each commissioner and the commission’s legal counsel, if any, may question any witness. (Ord. 1380 § 1, 1990; Ord. 1247 § 1, 1987; Ord. 1190 § 1, 1985; Ord. 895 § 2, 1978).