A. A covered employee who is dismissed, demoted or suspended may, within thirty days after the dismissal, demotion or suspension, appeal to the board. The appellant and the agency whose action is reviewed shall have the right to be heard publicly and to present facts pertinent to the appeal.
B. Formal rules of evidence shall not apply to appeals to the board.
C. A record shall be made of the hearing, which shall be transcribed if there is an appeal to the district court. The cost of transcripts may be assessed by the court to the losing party on appeal.
D. Appeals may be heard, at the election of the appellant, either by the board or by a hearing officer selected by the state personnel office. If the appellant does not elect to have his case heard by a state-personnel-office-designated hearing officer as provided in this section, the board may designate a hearing officer who may be a member of the board to preside over and take evidence at any hearing held pursuant to this section. This latter hearing officer shall prepare and submit to the board a summary of the evidence taken at the hearing and proposed findings of fact. The board shall render a final decision on the appeal, which shall include findings of fact and conclusions of law.
E. If the appellant chooses to have his case heard by a state-personnel-office-designated hearing officer, the appellant shall elect in writing within twenty days after filing the notice of appeal to have his appeal heard solely by a state-personnel-office-designated hearing officer. In the event of that election, the board shall promptly make that request to the state personnel office and promptly execute any and all documents necessary to implement this election. The state personnel office shall promptly arrange for the hearing officer without charge. This hearing officer shall have all of the rights, duties and responsibilities provided to the board by the District Attorney Personnel and Compensation Act [36-1A-1 to 36-1A-15 NMSA 1978], and that hearing officer's decision shall be binding and of the same force and effect as if the board itself had rendered the final decision.
F. If the board or the state-personnel-office-designated hearing officer finds that the action taken was without just cause, the board or the state-personnel-office-designated hearing officer may modify the disciplinary action or order the reinstatement of the appellant to his former position or to a position of like status and pay. When the board or the state-personnel-office-designated hearing officer orders a reinstatement of an appellant, the reinstatement shall be effective within thirty days after the service of a written copy of the decision on the affected party. The board or the state-personnel-office-designated hearing officer may award back pay as of the date of the dismissal, demotion or suspension or as of such later date as the order may specify.
G. A party aggrieved by the decision of the board or the state-personnel-office-designated hearing officer made pursuant to this section may appeal the decision to the district court pursuant to the provisions of Section 39-3-1.1 NMSA 1978.
Source: Inventory of Statutory Executive Boards and Commissions, Legislative Council Service 2010 Update