(a) The Office of Administrative Hearings is created as a separate operating agency within the Department of Transportation.
(b) The Governor, with the advice and consent of the senate, shall appoint a director of the office who shall serve as the administrative head of the office and as chief hearing examiner.
(c) Prior to appointment, the Chief Hearing Examiner shall be a citizen of the United States and a resident of this state who is admitted to the practice of law in this state.
(d) The salary of the Chief Hearing Examiner shall be set by the Secretary of the Department of Transportation. The salary shall be within the salary range for comparable administrators as determined by the State Personnel Board created by section six, article six, chapter twenty-nine of this code.
(e) The Chief Hearing Examiner during his or her term shall:
(1) Devote his or her full time to the duties of the position;
(2) Not otherwise engage in the active practice of law or be associated with any group or entity which is itself engaged in the active practice of law: Provided, That nothing in this paragraph may be construed to prohibit the Chief Hearing Examiner from being a member of a national, state or local bar association or committee, or of any other similar group or organization, or to prohibit the Chief Hearing Examiner from engaging in the practice of law by representing himself, herself or his or her immediate family in their personal affairs in matters not subject to this article.
(3) Not engage directly or indirectly in any activity, occupation or business interfering or inconsistent with his or her duties as Chief Hearing Examiner;
(4) Not hold any other appointed public office or any elected public office or any other position of public trust; and
(5) Not be a candidate for any elected public office, or serve on or under any committee of any political party.
(f) The Governor may remove the Chief Hearing Examiner only for incompetence, neglect of duty, official misconduct or violation of subsection (e) of this section, and removal shall be in the same manner as that specified for removal of elected state officials in section six, article six, chapter six of this code.
(g) The term of the Chief Hearing Examiner shall be six years. A person holding the position of Chief Hearing Examiner may be reappointed to that position subject to the provisions of subsection (b).