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H.B. 89 Enrolled






Chief Sponsor: Merrill F. Nelson

Senate Sponsor: Daniel W. Thatcher

             8      LONG TITLE
             9      General Description:
             10          This bill modifies the Public Safety Code regarding peace officer certification.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .     provides for the judicial appeal of a suspension or revocation of the certification of
             14      a peace officer by the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council.
             15      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             16          None
             17      Other Special Clauses:
             18          None
             19      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             20      AMENDS:
             21          53-6-211, as repealed and reenacted by Laws of Utah 2010, Chapter 313
             23      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             24          Section 1. Section 53-6-211 is amended to read:
             25           53-6-211. Suspension or revocation of certification -- Right to a hearing --
             26      Grounds -- Notice to employer -- Reporting -- Judicial appeal.
             27          (1) The council has authority to suspend or revoke the certification of a peace officer, if
             28      the peace officer:
             29          (a) willfully falsifies any information to obtain certification;

             30          (b) has any physical or mental disability affecting the peace officer's ability to perform
             31      duties;
             32          (c) is addicted to alcohol or any controlled substance, unless the peace officer reports
             33      the addiction to the employer and to the director as part of a departmental early intervention
             34      process;
             35          (d) engages in conduct which is a state or federal criminal offense, but not including a
             36      traffic offense that is a class C misdemeanor or infraction;
             37          (e) refuses to respond, or fails to respond truthfully, to questions after having been
             38      issued a warning issued based on Garrity v. New Jersey, 385 U.S. 493 (1967);
             39          (f) engages in sexual conduct while on duty; or
             40          (g) is dismissed from the armed forces of the Unites States under dishonorable
             41      conditions.
             42          (2) The council may not suspend or revoke the certification of a peace officer for a
             43      violation of a law enforcement agency's policies, general orders, or guidelines of operation that
             44      do not amount to a cause of action under Subsection (1).
             45          (3) (a) The division is responsible for investigating officers who are alleged to have
             46      engaged in conduct in violation of Subsection (1).
             47          (b) The division shall initiate all adjudicative proceedings under this section by
             48      providing to the peace officer involved notice and an opportunity for a hearing before an
             49      administrative law judge.
             50          (c) All adjudicative proceedings under this section are civil actions, notwithstanding
             51      whether the issue in the adjudicative proceeding is a violation of statute that may be prosecuted
             52      criminally.
             53          (d) (i) The burden of proof on the division in an adjudicative proceeding under this
             54      section is by clear and convincing evidence.
             55          (ii) If a peace officer asserts an affirmative defense, the peace officer has the burden of
             56      proof to establish the affirmative defense by a preponderance of the evidence.
             57          (e) If the administrative law judge issues findings of fact and conclusions of law stating

             58      there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the officer engaged in conduct that is in
             59      violation of Subsection (1), the division shall present the finding and conclusions issued by the
             60      administrative law judge to the council.
             61          (f) The division shall notify the chief, sheriff, or administrative officer of the police
             62      agency which employs the involved peace officer of the investigation and shall provide any
             63      information or comments concerning the peace officer received from that agency regarding the
             64      peace officer to the council before a peace officer's certification may be suspended or revoked.
             65          (g) If the administrative law judge finds that there is insufficient evidence to
             66      demonstrate that the officer is in violation of Subsection (1), the administrative law judge shall
             67      dismiss the adjudicative proceeding.
             68          (4) (a) The council shall review the findings of fact and conclusions of law and the
             69      information concerning the peace officer provided by the officer's employing agency and
             70      determine whether to suspend or revoke the officer's certification.
             71          (b) A member of the council shall recuse him or herself from consideration of an issue
             72      that is before the council if the council member:
             73          (i) has a personal bias for or against the officer;
             74          (ii) has a substantial pecuniary interest in the outcome of the proceeding and may gain
             75      or lose some benefit from the outcome; or
             76          (iii) employs, supervises, or works for the same law enforcement agency as the officer
             77      whose case is before the council.
             78          (5) (a) Termination of a peace officer, whether voluntary or involuntary, does not
             79      preclude suspension or revocation of a peace officer's certification by the council if the peace
             80      officer was terminated for any of the reasons under Subsection (1).
             81          (b) Employment by another agency, or reinstatement of a peace officer by the original
             82      employing agency after termination by that agency, whether the termination was voluntary or
             83      involuntary, does not preclude suspension or revocation of a peace officer's certification by the
             84      council if the peace officer was terminated for any of the reasons under Subsection (1).
             85          (6) A chief, sheriff, or administrative officer of a law enforcement agency who is made

             86      aware of an allegation against a peace officer employed by that agency that involves conduct in
             87      violation of Subsection (1) shall investigate the allegation and report to the division if the
             88      allegation is found to be true.
             89          (7) The council's suspension or revocation of an officer's certification under Subsection
             90      (4) may be appealed under Title 63G, Chapter 4, Part 4, Judicial Review.

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