Chief Hearings Officer

  • Portland City Auditor
  • Portland, OR, USA
Full Time Government Legal Management

Job Description

Opens:             January 21, 2019

Closes:             February 8, 2019

Salary range:   $ 92,851 - $ 162,490 per year


The Chief Hearings Officer acts on behalf of City Council to conduct quasi-judicial administrative hearings and render impartial decisions related to code enforcement, land use, vehicle tows, appeals, and other types of cases.

The Hearings Office is a division of the City Auditor’s Office, which provides it administrative support and a neutral base from which to make its decisions, which are subject to appellate review. As an elected official, the Auditor is independent of the Mayor, Commissioners, and City management.

In addition to hearing cases and preparing written decisions, the Chief Hearings Officer manages a small office. The Hearings Office is staffed by two full-time administrative clerks and one part-time Hearings Officer. The Chief Hearings Officer may assign cases to rotating on-call Hearings Officers under contract to the Auditor’s Office when outside assistance is needed to manage caseloads, conflicts, or provide land-use expertise.

The Auditor’s Office values a diverse workforce and seeks ways to foster a culture of equity, diversity and inclusion in delivering public services and everyday interactions in the workplace. The Office encourages candidates with experience working with a broad range of individuals and diverse communities to apply.

To Qualify

Applicants must specifically address and demonstrate in their cover letter and resume how their education, training and experience meets each of the following minimum qualifications:

  1. A juris doctor from an accredited law school and membership in good standing with the Oregon State Bar
  2. Five years of progressively responsible experience conducting or participating in quasi-judicial administrative hearings or contested cases
  3. Extensive knowledge of City Code and Charter provisions, federal and state laws, court decisions, and other legal requirements relevant to conducting quasi-judicial administrative hearings
  4. Knowledge of administrative law, specifically as it relates to the hearings process, rules of evidence, findings of fact, and conclusions of law
  5. Ability to render findings and determinations on cases heard, based on neutral consideration of the issues, sound legal reasoning, and good judgment.
  6. Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing; provide clear explanations of complex principles.
  7. Management skills necessary to oversee the operations of a small office and supervise staff

To apply, submit a:

  • detailed cover letter with examples that demonstrate how your experience and knowledge meet each of the minimum qualifications of the position listed above;
  • resume; and
  • legal writing sample suitable for assessing the your analytical and writing ability.

Application Instructions

Applicants must submit their cover letter, resume, and legal writing sample through the City of Portland’s electronic application system (

These materials will be reviewed to determine if candidates meet the qualifications listed above. To successfully pass the initial screening process, you must ensure that your cover letter addresses each numbered point and includes examples that illustrate your experience and expertise. It is advised that applicants organize their cover letters using the numbered list to ensure each is addressed. Only candidates who meet the qualifications will be eligible for an interview.

Your cover letter and resume should be no more than five pages combined. The length of legal writing samples is not limited, but brevity is a plus.

If you are requesting Veteran’s Preference, attach a copy of your DD214 / DD215 and/or Veteran’s Administration letter stating your disability. You must request a Veteran’s Preference in your cover letter AND include a copy of your documentation with your application materials.

Please note, all completed applications for this position must be submitted no later than on the closing date and time of this recruitment.  All applications must be submitted via the City's online application process.  Do not attach materials not requested.   E-mailed and/or faxed applications will not be accepted. 

Additional Information

This position is covered by Civil Service protections as described in the Auditor’s Human Resources Administrative Rules (AUHR 8.05 and AUHR 3.15). The Auditor’s Office does not use Civil Service exams as a minimum qualification for its positions.

Non-U.S. citizen applicants must be authorized to work in the United States at the time of application.

It is the policy of the City of Portland that no person shall be discriminated against based on race, religion, color, sex, marital status, family status, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or source of income. The City values diversity and encourages everyone who is interested in employment with the City to apply. If you wish to identify yourself as an individual with a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and will be requesting accommodation, the requests must be made to the Analyst named below no later than the closing date of this announcement.

Questions about the hiring process?

Andrew Bryans, Administrative Specialist II

Auditor’s Office

For more information about the Auditor’s Office:



Education Requirements



Salary Range: $92,851 - $162,490 per year