The hearing officer conducts an adversarial (rather than inquisitorial) hearing, with
the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) representing the agency’s position and interests
as the administrative prosecutor. An attorney or non-attorney may represent the representative.
The representative may present evidence at the hearing in support of his or her position
only if he or she filed a timely answer. If the representative filed an untimely answer
without good cause (as determined by the General Counsel) or a defective answer, he
or she has no right to present evidence. The hearing officer may decide the charges
based on the record submitted by OGC without holding a hearing. If the representative
loses his or her right to present evidence, at the discretion of the hearing officer,
the representative may present a written or oral statement of his or her arguments
with regard to the sufficiency of the agency’s evidence or the validity of the proceedings.