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A. The appearance of fairness doctrine, as specified in Chapter 42.36 RCW, shall apply to Hearing Examiner proceedings and shall result in the examiner’s disqualification when necessary. The Hearing Examiner shall not participate in any proceeding in which the Examiner has a prohibited personal interest which might influence the Examiner. In the event of a conflict of interest, the hearing shall be conducted by a hearing examiner pro tem.

B. The Hearing Examiner shall not communicate ex parte directly or indirectly with any person, or his or her agent or representative, having an interest in an application before the Hearing Examiner.

C. If a prohibited ex parte communication occurs, it shall be publicly disclosed in accordance with Chapter 42.36 RCW, and the Hearing Examiner shall determine whether to disqualify himself or herself for that application.