Comments/Notes on Appellate Process & Procedures (Optional):
-Though the regulatory provision granting former employee's the right to counsel is found in the section governing hearing procedures, see 49 CFR 98.7, it seems doubtful that the right would suddenly be revoked at the appeal stage.
-49 CFR 98.10, governing appeal procedures, confines the Secretary's considerations to "the evidence admitted during the prior proceeding and contained in the record of that proceeding." 49 CFR 98.10(b). From this I infer that only written or 'paper' hearings are afforded, with no opportunity for oral argument or supplementation.
-Despite the strict admonition for the Secretary to consider only the information adduced in the prior proceeding, there is no express provision regarding closure of the record at the appeal stage. Hence, I answer 'No' to this question.