Title 16: Education
Chapter 51: PROFESSIONAL EDUCATORS
16 V.S.A. § 1700. Investigation
§ 1700. Investigation
(a) Investigation committee. Upon receiving notice of either an applicant's appeal of a licensing office decision or an allegation of unprofessional conduct or incompetence on the part of a licensee, the hearing panel administrative officer shall assign one or more of its licensee members to serve on an investigation committee with an investigator and prosecuting attorney assigned by the commissioner of education to investigate the licensing decision or allegation and make recommendations to the commissioner in accordance with subsections (b) and (d) of this section. Teacher members shall be assigned to assist in the investigation of matters involving teachers and administrator members in matters involving administrators. Members shall not serve on a hearing panel regarding any matter they assisted in investigating. If the administrative officer is unable to assign one or more members to the investigation committee by reason of disqualification, resignation, vacancy, or necessary ab
sence, the officer shall appoint ad hoc members who shall meet the requirements of subsection 1693(b) of this title.
(b) Preliminary review. After conducting a preliminary review of an allegation of unprofessional conduct or incompetence or of a denial of a license based on alleged unprofessional conduct or incompetence, the investigation committee shall make a recommendation to the commissioner regarding whether to conduct a formal investigation.
(c) Formal investigation. If the commissioner decides to conduct a formal investigation, the commissioner shall:
(1) notify the educator and direct the investigation committee to proceed with a formal investigation; and
(2) notify the superintendent of the school district in which the educator may be employed, or if the educator is currently employed as a superintendent, the chair of the board of the supervisory union or supervisory district that employs the superintendent, that the office has commenced a formal investigation of an allegation of unprofessional conduct or incompetence and shall specify the provisions of section 1698 of this title that best describe the allegation.
(d) Recommendation. Upon completing its investigation, the investigation committee shall recommend that the commissioner, with respect to a license application, affirm or reverse a licensing office decision or, with respect to alleged unprofessional conduct or incompetence, issue or not issue formal charges.
(e) Professional guidance. In its recommendation as to whether the commissioner should issue formal charges and, if so, what form they should take, the committee may consider the effect it believes its professional guidance may have in mitigating the need for and nature of licensing action. (Added 2005, No. 214 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. July 1, 2007.)