2022 Code of Virginia
Title 9.1 - Commonwealth Public Safety
Chapter 5.1 - Correctional Officer Procedural Guarantee Act
§ 9.1-510. Hearing; recommendations

Universal Citation: VA Code § 9.1-510 (2022)

A. Whenever a correctional officer is dismissed, demoted, suspended without pay, or transferred for punitive reasons, he may, within a reasonable amount of time following such action, as set by the agency, request a hearing. If such request is timely made, a hearing shall be held within a reasonable amount of time set by the agency. The hearing shall be set no later than 14 calendar days following the date of request, unless a later date is agreed to by the correctional officer.

B. At the hearing, the correctional officer and the agency shall have the opportunity to present evidence and to examine and cross-examine witnesses. The correctional officer shall also be given the opportunity to be represented by counsel or a representative at the hearing.

C. The hearing shall be conducted by a panel consisting of one member from within the agency selected by the grievant, one member from within the agency appointed by the agency head, and a third member selected by the other two members. These members shall be security officers of no more than three ranks above the rank of the grievant. If there is no agreement on a third member, the third member shall be chosen by the chief circuit court judge of the circuit where the correctional officer is employed. The hearing panel may issue subpoenas to compel witness testimony at the request of either the correctional officer or the agency. The hearing panel shall rule on the admissibility of evidence. A record shall be made of the hearing.

D. At the option of the agency, it may, in lieu of complying with the provisions of § 9.1-509, (i) give the correctional officer a written statement of the charges and the basis for them, and the action that may be taken, and (ii) provide a hearing as provided for in this section prior to dismissing, demoting, suspending, or transferring the correctional officer for disciplinary reasons.

E. The recommendations of the hearing panel and the reasons therefor shall be made in writing and transmitted promptly to the correctional officer or his counsel and to the agency. Such recommendations shall be advisory only but shall be accorded significant weight.

F. No provision of this section shall apply to correctional officers dismissed, demoted, suspended without pay, or transferred for punitive reasons as a result of a criminal conviction.

2018, cc. 761, 762.

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