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Associated Press, Published October 21 2013

ND Administrative Hearings director leaving

BISMARCK — The only director the North Dakota Office of Administrative Hearings has ever had is leaving to return to private practice.

The office provides independent administrative law judges to conduct hearings for state agencies and local governments. Gov. George Sinner appointed Allen Hoberg to head the office when it was created in 1991, and Hoberg was reappointed by former governors Ed Schafer and John Hoeven. His current term ends in 2015.

Hoberg, who serves as director of the office and also as a judge, told the Minot Daily News that he has decided to step down early, in mid-December, to take a job with a Bismarck law firm as an attorney specializing in agricultural law.

"They sought me out and I said, 'Wow, perfect fit,'" he said, adding that he had been looking for a new challenge.

The Minot native and 1977 University of North Dakota law school graduate said he isn't trying to slow down — at least not much.

"Some people in private practice work long hours. I don't intend to work long hours," he said. "I have an agreement with them ... I'll work full time but not more than full time."