Any application for retirement or death allowance made pursuant to this Charter shall be heard by a hearing officer employed under contract by the Retirement Board and selected by procedures set forth in its rules, which shall include rules setting forth the qualifications and selection procedure necessary to appoint a qualified and unbiased hearing officer. Following public hearing, the hearing officer shall determine whether such application shall be granted or denied. All expenses related to processing and adjudicating such applications shall be paid from the Trust Fund.
At any time within 30 days after the service of the hearing officer’s decision, the applicant or any other affected party, including the Retirement System, may petition the hearing officer for a rehearing upon one or more of the following grounds and no other:
1. That the hearing officer acted without or in excess of the hearing officer’s powers;
2. That the decision was procured by fraud;
3. That the evidence does not justify the decision; or
4. That the petitioner has discovered new material evidence which could not, with reasonable diligence, have been discovered and produced at the hearing.
The decision of the hearing officer shall be final upon the expiration of 30 days after the petition for rehearing is denied, or if the hearing is granted, upon the expiration of 30 days after the rendition of the decision. Such final decision shall not be subject to amendment, modification or rescission by the Board, but shall be subject to review by the Board only for the purpose of determining whether to seek judicial review.