(1) After completing a contested case proceeding, the hearing examiner shall, within 30 days of the hearing, issue findings of fact and conclusions of law that would, if adopted by the council, meet the requirements of 2-4-623, MCA.
(2) Within 15 days after the hearing examiner has issued findings, conclusions, and a proposed decision, an adversely affected party may submit exceptions to the hearing examiner's decision. The council shall receive briefs and hear oral arguments at its next meeting and deliberate pursuant to 2-4-621, MCA. The party filing the exceptions must incorporate a supporting brief in the document stating the exceptions. The opposing party may file a brief in response to the exceptions within ten days. No reply brief will be received.
(3) For the period between the submission of the hearing examiner's decision and the hearing before the council, general counsel for the council or another person designated by the council chair will act as a special master for purposes of resolving any issue arising before the council hearing.
(4) After deliberating, the council will decide to adopt, reject, or modify the hearing examiner's findings and recommendation. The council will issue a decision and order pursuant to 2-4-623, MCA, and mail a copy of this decision to respondent or the respondent's legal representative.
(5) If a party has filed exceptions to the decision of the hearing examiner, the contested case is not considered to be submitted for decision under 2-4-623(1), MCA, until oral arguments are concluded before the council.
(6) If a certificate was denied, revoked or suspended by the director before the hearing, the certificate will remain denied, revoked or suspended pending the outcome of the contested case proceeding and the respondent must surrender the certificate(s) to the council and forfeit the position, authority, and powers afforded the officer in this state while the contested case proceeds. However, the hearing examiner, before the contested case hearing, or the special master designated in (3), after the hearing, may, upon a properly supported motion that affords POST adequate opportunity to respond, stay the denial, suspension or revocation for good cause shown.