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(8) Give public notice of the designation and boundaries of each community within the county not less than 50 days prior to the election of community committee members and delegates;

(9) Direct the giving of notices in accordance with applicable regulations and official instructions;

(10) Recommend to the State committee desirable changes in or additions to existing programs;

(11) Conduct such hearings and investigations as the State committee may request; and

(12) Perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the State committee.

the county the agricultural conservation program, the production adjustment and price support programs, the acreage allotment and marketing quota programs, the wool and mohair incentive payment program, and any other program or function assigned by the Secretary or a designee of the Secretary.

(b) The county committee shall:

(1) Enter into leasing agreements for such office space as needed in accordance with official instructions.

(2) Employ the county executive director, subject to standards and qualifications furnished by the State committee, to serve at the pleasure of the county committee, except that incumbent directors shall not be removed other than in accordance with the provisions of $ 7.28 of this part until all members of the county committee have been in office for at least 90 days. There shall be no employment discrimination due to race, religion, color, sex, age, or national origin. The county executive director may not be removed for advocating or carrying out the Department's policy on equal opportunity and civil rights, including the equal employment policy. In the event it is claimed that dismissal is for such reasons, the dismissal shall not become effective until the State committee and the Deputy Administrator have determined that dismissal was not because of such reasons;

(3) Direct the activities of the local committees elected in the county;

(4) Pursuant to official instructions, review, approve, and certify forms, reports, and documents requiring such action in accordance with such instructions;

(5) Recommend to the State committee needed changes in boundaries of community and local administrative areas;

(6) Make available to farmers and the public, information concerning the objectives and operations of the programs administered through the county committee;

(7) Make available to agencies of the Federal Government and others information with respect to the county committee activities in accordance with official instructions issued;

8 7.22 Community committee duties.

(a) The community committee shall be subject to the general direction and supervision of the county committee.

(b) The community committee shall:

(1) Serve as an advisor and consultant to the county committee;

(2) Periodically meet with the county committee and State committee to be informed on farm program issues;

(3) Communicate with producers on issues or concerns regarding farm programs;

(4) Report to the county committee, the State committee, and other interested persons on changes to, or modifi. cation of, farm programs recommended by producers;

(5) Perform such other functions as are required by law or as he Secretary or a designee of the Secretary may specify.

8 7.23 Chairperson of the county commit

tee duties. The chairperson of the county committee or the person acting as the chairperson shall preside at meetings of the county committee, certify such documents as may require the chairperson's certification, and perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the State committee.

8 7.24 Chairperson of the community com

mittee duties. The chairperson of the community committee or the person acting as the chairperson shall preside at meetings of the community committee, and perform such other duties as may be assigned by the county committee.

8 7.25 County executive director duties.

(a) The county executive director shall execute the policies established by the county committee and be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the county office.

(b) The county executive director shall:

(1) In accordance with standards and qualifications furnished by the State committee, employ the personnel of the county office to serve at the pleasure of the county executive director. There shall be no employment discrimination due to race, religion, color, sex, age, or national origin. An employee may not be removed under this paragraph for advocating or carrying out the Department's policy on equal opportunity and civil rights, including the equal employment policy. In the event it is claimed that the dismissal is for such reason, the dismissal shall not become effective until the State committee and the Deputy Administrator have determined that dismissal was not because of such reason;

(2) Receive, dispose of, and account for all funds, negotiable instruments, or property coming into the custody of the county committee;

(3) Serve as counselor to the local administrative area and county convention chairperson on election procedures; and

(4) Supervise, under the direction of the county committee, the activities of the communitiy committees elected in the county.

87.27 Political activity.

(a) No person may be a member of the county governing body or hold a Federal, State, or county office filled by an election held pursuant to law or be employed by any such office and also hold office as a county committee member, community committee member, delegate, alternate to such office, or be employed in any capacity, except, that members of school boards, soil conservation district boards, weed control district boards, or of similar boards are not ineligible to hold office or employment under this paragraph solely because of membership on such boards.

(b) No person may be a candidate for membership on the county governing body or for any Federal, State, or county office filled by an election held pursuant to law and hold office as a county committee member, communi. ty committee member, delegate, alternate to any such office, or be employed in any capacity, except, that candidates for school boards, soil conservation district boards, irriga district boards, drainage district boards, weed control district boards, or for similar boards are not ineligible to hold office or employment under this subsection solely because of candidacy for such boards.

(c) No person may be an officer, employee, or delegate to a convention of any political party or political organization and hold office as a county committee member, community committee member, delegate, alternate to any such office, or be employed in any capacity.

(d) The tenure of office of any county committee member, community committee member, delegate, alternate to any such office, or the employment of any employee, shall be automatically terminated as soon as any such person becomes ineligible for office of employment under the provisions of paragraph (a), (b), or (c) of this section.

(e) No county committee member, community committee member, dele. gate, or alternate to any such office, or any employee shall at any time engage in the following political activi. ties:

$ 7.26 Private business activity and con

flicts of interest. (a) No county committee member, community committee member, delegate, alternate to any such office, or county office employee shall at any time use such office or employment to promote any private business interest.

(b) County committee members, community committee members, delegates, or alternates, and any person employed in the county office shall be subject to the official instructions issued with respect to conflicts of interest and proper conduct.

or

(1) Solicit or receive any contributions (including the sale of tickets) for political party organizations or for a candidate for political office or for any other political purpose in any room or building used for the transaction of any Federal official business, or at any place from any other county committee member, community committee member, delegate, or alternate to any such office or employee.

(2) Use official authority or influence to discharge, remove, demote, or promote any employee, or threaten or promise to so do, for withholding or giving contributions (including the buying or the refusal to buy tickets) for political purposes, or for supporting or opposing any candidate or any political organization in any primary, general, or special election for political office.

(3) Use or direct or permit the use of any official space, equipment, materials, supplies, or

personal services either to support or oppose any political office holder, candidate or party, or for any other political purpose.

(f) A county committee member or alternate to such office, an employee on any day when entitled to receive pay for services in performance of duties, or an employee who serves during a continuous period of 90 days or more and has a regular tour of duty established in advance at any time, shall not solicit, collect, receive, disburse, or otherwise handle contributions of money, pledges, gifts, or anything of value (including the sale of tickets) made for:

(1) Political party organizations;

(2) A candidate for political office in any primary, general, or special election, but excluding such activities on behalf of individual candidates in township and municipal elections; or

(3) Any other political purpose. (52 FR 48512, Dec. 23, 1987; 53 FR 1441, Jan. 19, 1988)

county employee who: Fails to perform the duties of office; commits or attempts, conspires to commit fraud; is incompetent; impedes the effectiveness of any program administered in the county; violates the provisions of $ 7.27 (e) or (f) of this part; refuses to carry out or fails to comply with the equal opportunity and civil rights, including the equal employment policy, or who interferes with others in carrying out such policy; or violates official instructions, shall be suspended from office or employment. Any person who is under formal investigation for any of the above-cited reasons may be suspended. The suspension action may be taken by the county executive director with respect to any other employee, or by the county committee or State committee with respect to the county executive director or any other county employee and by the State committee with respect to any county committee member, community committee member, delegate to the local administrative area convention or the county convention, or any alternate to any such office. Any person suspended shall be given a written statement of the reasons for such action and be allowed 15 days from the date of mailing of the notice of suspension in which to advise the county committee, or the State committee if it made the suspension, in writing, in person, or both, why such person should be restored to duty.

(b) The county committee or the county executive director, or the State committee if it made the suspension, following such further investigation as is deemed necessary shall restore to duty or remove the suspended person. The county committee or county executive director may not restore a suspended person to duty without prior written approval of the State committee, and, if such approval is denied, shall promptly remove such person. Upon refusal or failure of the county committee or the county executive director to remove promptly the suspended person, the State committee shall remove such person. In the event further investigation develops reasons for the action taken, in addition to those disclosed in the suspension

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notice, the suspended person shall be given written notification of such additional reasons and allowed 15 days from the date of mailing of the notice of additional reasons for the suspension in which to advise why such person should be restored to duty. In the event a person under suspension submits resignation, acceptance thereof shall not prevent a determination by the county committee or State committee that such person would have been removed had the person remained in the position. Such determination shall constitute removal within the meaning of $$ 7.27 (e) and 7.28(c) of this part. The person so removed shall be given written notification of any such determination and the reasons therefor.

(c) Any incumbent or former county committee member, community committee member, delegate to the local administrative area convention or the county convention, an alternate to any such office, county executive director, or any other county employee who during a term of employment: Fails or failed to perform the duties of employment; committed, attempted, or conspired to commit fraud; was incompetent; impeded the effectiveness of any program administered in the county; violated the provisions of $ 7.27 (e) or (f) of this part; refused to carry out or failed to comply with the Department's policy relating to equal opportunity and civil rights, including the equal employment policy; or violated official instructions, may be disqualified for future service or employment by the State committee. Before any such disqualification determination is made, the State committee shall undertake such investigation as it deems necessary, after which the State committee shall give the affected person a written statement of the determination for the proposed disqualification action. Such person shall have 15 days from the date of receipt of such determination to advise in writing, in person or both, why the action should not be taken. If any further investigation develops substantial additional

for disqualification, the person involved shall be given a writ. ten statement of such reasons and 15 days from the date of mailing in which

to respond. The State committee may remove the disqualification for future service or employment only with prior approval of the Deputy Administrator.

(d) Any county committee member, community committee member, delegate to the local administrative area convention or the county convention, or any alternate to any such office, county executive director, or any other county employee, who, prior to taking such persons's present office: Committed, or attempted or conspired to commit fraud; or impeded the effectiveness of any program administered in the county, may be suspended. Any such person who is under formal investigation for any reason set forth in this section may be suspended. The proceedings under this paragraph shall be applied the same as provided in paragraph (a) of this section.

(e) If in the event of suspensions or vacancies there are less than two members, including alternates, avail. able to serve on the county committee, the State committee shall designate a person to administer the programs in the county pending the exoneration or removal of those persons under investigation and, if removed, pending the election of new county committee members and alternates. Such person may be the remaining member or alternate member of the committee if available. Any person named by the State committee to serve in such capacity shall have full authority to perform all duties regularly performed by a duly elected county committee.

§ 7.29 Delegation of authority to Deputy

Administrator. Notwithstanding the authority vested by this part in a State committee, a county committee, and the county executive director, the Deputy Administrator shall have authority to suspend and/or remove or disqualify for future service or employment, any county committee member, community committee member, delegate to the local administrative area convention or the county convention, an alternate to any such office, county executive director, or other county employee, for any and all of the reasons and causes authorizing such suspension, removal, and disqualification by the State committee, the county committee, or the county executive director. Any person suspended, removed or disqualified pursuant to this section shall be given a written statement of the reason for such action and shall be advised of the right of review as provided in $ 7.30 of this part.

reasons

$ 7.30 Right of review.

Any person dissatisfied with a determination of the county committee or county executive director may appeal in writing or in person or both, such determination to the State committee. Any person dissatisfied with a determinati of the State con

nittee may appeal such determination in writing to the Deputy Administrator. Any person dissatisfied with the determination of the Deputy Administrator made under $ 7.29 of this part may request a reconsideration of such determination by the Deputy Administrator. Any such appeal or request for reconsideration shall be made within 15 days from the date of the mailing of the determination with respect to which the appeal or request is filed. Except as provided in $ 7.31 of this part, such appeals and requests for reconsideration shall be determined on an informal basis. The person filing the appeal or request for reconsideration may present reasons, in writing or in person, or both, why the determination should be reversed or modified. Within 60 days after the reasons have been presented, such person shall be notified of the determination on appeal or reconsideration. The notification shall clearly set forth the basis for the determination. The determination of the Deputy Administrator is final and not subject to further administrative review.

request a hearing, the appeal or reconsideration shall be handled in accordance with $ 7.30 of this part. If the appellant desires a hearing, such person shall so advise the Deputy Administrator. The hearing shall be conducted by the Deputy Administrator, or a designee of the Deputy Administrator, who shall serve as a hearing officer. The hearing shall be held at the time and place designated by the hearing officer. The appellant may appear personally or through or accompanied by a representative. The hearing officer shall conduct the hearing so as to bring out pertinent facts, including the production of pertinent documents. Rules of evidence shall not be applied strictly, but the hearing officer shall exclude irrelevant or unduly repetitious evidence. Information having a bearing on the issues shall be received in evidence. Both the appellant and the agency representatives are entitled to produce witnesses and the appellant and agency representative shall be given an opportunity to cross-examine witnesses. The hearing officer shall inform the witnesses that they are subject to a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or both, for making any false statements (18 U.S.C. 1001). The hearing officer shall cause a transcript to be made of the hearing and it shall be made available to the appellant at actual costs.

8 7.32 Findings, analysis, and recommen

dations of hearing officer. If the hearing has been conducted by a designee of the Deputy Administrator, the hearing officer shall, within 60 days from date of receipt of the transcript transmit to the Deputy Administrator:

(a) The record of the hearing;

(b) The findings and analysis of the hearing officer; and

(c) A recommended determination.

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8 7.33 Determination of the Deputy Ad.

ministrator. Within 30 days after receipt of the findings, analysis, and recommendations of the hearing officer that are made under $7.32 of this part, or within 60 days from the date of re

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