[92-16] Power of boards to issue subpoenas, administer oaths, appoint masters, etc. (a) Any board (which term as used in this section means any board or commission of the State or of any political subdivision of the State) which is by law authorized or required to hold hearings for the purpose of receiving evidence, shall have the following powers, in addition to those provided for by any other law, in connection with the hearings:

(1) To subpoena witnesses upon subpoena signed by the chairperson, acting chairperson, or any member, or executive secretary, or executive officer of or under the board who is so authorized by the board. The subpoenas shall be served in the same manner, and the witnesses subpoenaed shall be entitled to the same witness fees, as in the case of a witness subpoenaed to testify before a circuit court. Any circuit court, upon the written application of any member of the board or of any master appointed by it as in this section provided, shall have power to enforce obedience to the subpoena by contempt proceedings.

(2) Through the chairperson, acting chairperson, or any member of the board, or through the executive secretary or executive officer of or under the board so authorized by the board, to administer oaths to witnesses and require the testimony of such witnesses on matters germane to the subject under inquiry at the hearing. Any party to the hearing upon request shall be allowed to be represented by counsel and be allowed reasonable rights of examination and cross-examination of witnesses. Any false swearing by a witness at the hearing upon any material issue or matter shall constitute perjury, and be punishable as such.

(3) To appoint, by written resolution adopted by vote of a majority of the board, a master or masters (who may, but need not be, a member or members of the board, or a disinterested attorney at law or other person, or a combination of any of them) to hold the hearing and take testimony upon the matters involved in the hearing and report to the board the master's or their findings and recommendations, together with a transcript of the hearing or a summary of the evidence and testimony taken thereat, and to adopt the findings and recommendations, in whole or in part, or otherwise act upon the report and transcript or summary, and, in the board's discretion, to hold further hearings and take further evidence and testimony in connection therewith, before taking final action thereon. Any master may be paid such reasonable compensation as shall be determined by the board, provided that no member of the board shall be eligible to receive any additional compensation for services as master.

(b) Subpoena fees, master's fees, and other expenses in connection with the hearings shall be payable out of any moneys appropriated or available for expenditure by the board for personal services or current expenses, or both. Any master so appointed shall have all of the powers which would be held and enjoyed by the board or the chairperson or any member thereof in connection with the hearing. [L 1949, c 329, 1; RL 1955, 7-27; HRS 92-12; am L 1973, c 31, pt of 21; ren 92-16; gen ch 1985, 1993]


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