The department shall conduct hearings initiated under section 83-1219 using hearing officers. The department may employ, retain, or approve such qualified hearing officers as are necessary to conduct the hearings. The hearing officers shall not be persons who are employees or officers of a local agency which is involved in providing services to the person with developmental disabilities. A person who otherwise qualifies to conduct a hearing shall not be considered an employee of the agency solely because the person is paid by the agency to serve as a hearing officer. No hearing officer shall participate in any way in any hearing or matter in which the hearing officer may have a conflict of interest. The department shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over cases arising under sections 83-1219 to 83-1224, and in no event shall juvenile courts have jurisdiction over such matters.