(5) actual or potential harm to public safety; and
(6) rebuttal evidence regarding mitigating factors.
(b) Notice of the immediate suspension shall be served on the law enforcement officer, the employing agency, the chief executive of the employing agency, and state the reason for suspension within seven days.
(c) Upon service of the notice, the law enforcement officer's employing agency shall have 30 days to request to be heard by the Panel. The hearing, if requested by the officer, shall follow the hearing procedures as outlined in subsection (h) of Section 6.3 of this Act. In the hearing, the written communication and any other evidence obtained therewith may be introduced as evidence against the law enforcement officer; provided however, the law enforcement officer, or their counsel, shall have the opportunity to discredit, impeach and submit evidence rebutting such evidence to explain why the officer's certification should not be suspended or why the suspension should be shortened. The law enforcement officer may also present any rebuttal evidence of mitigating factors.
(d) The Panel shall review the recommendation from the administrative law judge regarding the suspension, and if the Panel finds that the proof is evident or the presumption great that the officer has committed the offense charged, the Panel can sustain or reduce the length of the suspension. If the Panel does not find that the proof is evident or the presumption great that the officer has committed the offense charged, the Panel can reverse the suspension.
If the law enforcement officer does not request to be heard or does not appear, the Panel may hold the hearing in the officer's absence. The law enforcement officer and the employing agency shall be notified of the decision of the Panel within 7 days. The law enforcement officer may request to suspend the hearing until after the officer's criminal trial has occurred, however the suspension will remain intact until the hearing.
(e) Findings and conclusions made in hearing for an emergency suspension shall not be binding on any party in any subsequent proceeding under this Act.
(f) A Panel member acting in good faith, and not in a willful and wanton manner, in accordance with this Section, shall not, as a result of such actions, be subject to criminal prosecution or civil damages, including but not limited to lost wages.
(g) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the changes made to this Section by this amendatory Act of the 102nd General Assembly and Public Act 101-652 take effect July 1, 2022.
(Source: P.A. 101-652, eff. 1-1-22; 102-694, eff. 1-7-22.)