(1) Hearings shall be conducted by the director or by a hearing officer designated by him or her. Provision shall be made to insure that any such hearing officer other than the director shall not have participated in the performance of investigative or prosecuting functions in the case to which he or she is assigned. The hearing shall be conducted in an impartial manner by the hearing officer who may administer oaths, rule upon offers of proof and objections, and take such other action as may be necessary. He or she shall not be bound by formal rules of evidence as observed in courts of law but shall exclude irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence. The burden of proof and of proceeding with the evidence shall be on the department, and every party shall have the right to compulsory process, to representation by counsel of his or her own choosing, and to cross-examination of and confrontation by witnesses against him or her.
(2) Whenever any hearing is conducted by any person other than the director, the person conducting the same shall render a recommended decision with appropriate proposed findings and orders disposing of all the relevant matters of fact and law involved in the proceeding. Thereafter the case may be remanded to the person or persons who conducted the hearing with such instructions as the director may deem appropriate, or the director himself or herself may perform such function and may conduct a new or supplemental hearing. The director may dispense with a recommended decision and proceed to the rendering of his or her final order thereon with appropriate findings of fact on the basis of the entire record as certified to him or her by the person conducting the hearing. Prior to each recommended and each final decision, the parties shall be afforded an opportunity to submit proposed findings, briefs, and arguments as the director may deem appropriate.
(3) Any person aggrieved by any order entered by the director or other action taken by the department may appeal the order or action, and the appeal shall be in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.