Section 11-43-230

Predisciplinary hearing prior to suspension or termination; procedures; postdisciplinary hearing.

(a) Every municipality shall provide a predisciplinary hearing prior to the suspension or termination of its law enforcement officers, provided nothing herein shall preclude a municipality from placing a law enforcement officer on leave with pay until the person or body holding the hearing has made its decision in the matter.

(b) Every municipality shall establish written due process procedures applicable to the predisciplinary hearing. At a minimum, this due process shall consist of written notice to the officer of the reasons for the termination or suspension. This notice shall be issued by the person or persons with authority to suspend or terminate the law enforcement officer. The notice shall inform the officer that he or she has 10 days to request, in writing, a hearing before the person or persons with authority to suspend or terminate. If the officer fails to request the hearing within 10 days from receiving the notice, the right to any hearing shall be deemed waived.

(c) The hearing shall be conducted by an impartial officer or body with authority to suspend or terminate the law enforcement officer. If the hearing is before the municipal governing body, the hearing may be conducted in an executive session, provided that any vote for or against suspension or termination shall occur in an open session.

(d) The officer has the right to appear at this hearing in person or by representative and to address charges against him or her. If the officer has a representative, the officer shall also be present at the hearing.

(e) A municipality may also hold a separate postdisciplinary hearing on the suspension or termination of the law enforcement officer. If the municipality holds a separate postdisciplinary hearing on the matter, the officer may present evidence in his or her behalf and question witnesses who testified against him or her.

(f) Nothing shall prohibit a municipality from allowing due process which exceeds the requirements in this section.

(g) The rules of evidence and the rules of discovery shall not apply to either of the hearings held pursuant to this article.

(Act 2001-463, p. 617, §1.)