December 22, 2004

"Who's on First?" regarding Employee Misconduct Registry Appeals at APS

The State reorganization was bound to cause some confusion as agencies reformat and try to fill in the gaps forgotten by the Legislature. We've had occasion to look into the issue of what is going to happen to the appeals that concern placement of an employee on the Employment Misconduct Registery. It appears that these appeals are in limbo right now.

Our sources at some of the agencies tell us that Department of Family Protective Services does not want to hear these appeals itself. It wants another agency to hear them. I say good for DFPS!!

The problem is that Chapter 253 of the Texas Health & Safety Code seems to require that these appeals be heard by the agency that made the determination. This requirement poses a conflict of interest even if you have a totally fair Administrative Law Judge.

There is some talk that DFPS is trying to convince HHSC to hear the appeals. If that happens, they will probably be shipped off to SOAH.

That's the best thing that could happen in my opinion.