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At the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer weighs the evidence and credibility of the arguments and has several options for a decision. The hearing officer will decide whether a legal violation has occurred, whether to assess a fine and the amount, memorialize any settlement agreements that may have been concluded during the hearing, order restitution by a respondent to redress a grievance, or order the suspension of a license or registration.
The hearing officer sets the ground rules for the hearing and may exercise discretion in what types of evidence will be allowed, who may be present to assist a respondent (but an attorney is always permitted if desired), and the order and conduct of the presentation of the issues and evidence by both sides. A hearing officer may create a settlement where appropriate during the hearing or issue a decision constituting an order of the Office of Consumer Affairs at the conclusion of the hearing.