Commissioner Biographies

Commissioner Biographies

Current members of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission:
Hardeep Singh Rekhi, Chair is an owner and partner of Rekhi & Wolk, P.S. His practice focuses on immigration, individual employee rights as well as class action wage and hour litigation. While Mr. Rekhi was born and raised in Seattle, he has not lost touch with his immigrant roots. He is an advocate for immigrants both in his professional capacity and through his work as a past board member of Oneamerica, an organization recognized nationally as leader in immigrants rights movement. Mr. Rekhi is dedicated to advocating for a fair judicial systems for individuals. Currently he sits on the board for the Washington Employment Lawyers Association (WELA), an organization of plaintiffs' employment lawyers. He is also a board member for The South Asian Bar Association of Washington. He is an Eagle Member at Washington State Association for Justice. In 2015 he was sworn in as Judge pro tempore. Mr. Rekhi was appointed by the Mayor in December 2015 to a term ending December 31, 2018. Mr. Rekhi was reappointed to the Commission by the City Council in 2020 to a term that expires December 31, 2022.
Zach Pekelis, Vice Chair is a litigation partner at Pacifica Law Group, where his practice focuses on constitutional, administrative, and political law. Previously, Zach worked as an Assistant Attorney General in the Complex Litigation Division of the Washington Attorney General's Office; as a Trial Attorney in the Voting Section of the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division; and as a litigation associate at Perkins Coie. Born and raised in Seattle, Zach attended Garfield High School, where he played sax in the jazz band. He graduated from Yale College and Yale Law School. After college, Zach joined Teach For America, teaching history and government at a high school in Brooklyn, New York. After law school, Zach clerked for Judge David F. Hamilton of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Zach was appointed to the Commission by the Mayor in 2020 for a term that expires December 31, 2022.
Kristin Hawes is a member at Seattle's Summit Law Group, where her practice focuses on commercial real estate.  She is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College and New York University Law School.  Prior to joining Summit, she was senior counsel at SSL Law Firm, where she represented both landlords and tenants, and a former general counsel and secretary at John L. Scott Real Estate.  Earlier in her career, she was an assistant public defender, and she maintains an interest in ensuring equitable access to legal services.  As a native Seattleite, Commissioner Hawes appreciates the opportunity to serve the city through her participation in the SEEC. Ms. Hawes was appointed to the Commission in 2021 by the Mayor, to a term that will expire December 31, 2023.
Richard Shordt is Senior Corporate Counsel with the Compliance and Ethics group at T-Mobile. He provides legal and compliance advise to senior business leaders on government ethics, whistleblower protection, state and local lobbying, and pay-to-play matters. He is also the primary legal counsel responsible for directing and managing privileged internal investigations into ethical, legal, and other violations of T-Mobile's Code of Business Conduct and related company policies. Before joining T-Mobile, Mr. Shordt spent nearly seven years practicing law in Seattle and Washington, DC where he developed a sophisticated practice representing clients in connection with civil and criminal litigation, as well as responding to inquiries from federal and state regulators and law enforcement agencies. Prior to moving to Seattle Mr. Shordt spent nearly a decade on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC as a legislative aide where he managed the legislative priorities, served as a policy advisor and liaison to federal agencies and industry representatives, and ensured staff compliance with applicable ethics rules and guidelines for two Members of Congress. Mr. Shordt was appointed by the City Council in 2019 to a term ending December 31, 2021. Mr. Shordt was reappointed to the Commission by the City Council in 2022 to a term that expires December 31, 2024.
Chalia Stallings-Ala’ilima is an Assistant Attorney General and Senior Counsel in the Washington State Attorney General’s Office Wing Luke Civil Rights Division where she currently serves as Special Counsel for Civil Rights Policy. She also sits as a Judge/Magistrate Pro Tempore for Seattle Munic Court. Chalia litigates AG initiated enforcement of state and federal anti-discrimination laws and advises on policy development that impacts civil rights and vulnerable populations. She volunteers as the Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Advancement officer for the Association of Washington Assistant Attorneys General-WFSE Local 5297, Vice-Chair of the state Office of Civil Legal Aid Oversight Committee, Trustee for the King County Bar Association, and member of the University of Washington Law Foundation. Chalia has served as President of the Loren Miller Bar Association, completed the JustLead Washington Leadership Academy, and participated on the Seattle Police Department Officer-Involved Shooting Force Review Board. Chalia has received the AGO’s William V. Tanner and Excellence awards, WSBA’s Achieving Professional Excellence (APEX) in Diversity award, and team recognition through the Legal Foundation of Washington’s Goldmark Distinguished Service Award and Loren Miller Bar Association’s Excellence in the Legal Profession Awards. Chalia earned both her B.A. and J.D. from the University of Washington. Ms. Stallings-Ala’ilima was appointed by the Mayor in 2022 for a term that expires December 31, 2024.
Susan Taylor served as Chief Compliance Counsel for Fluke Corporation and Tektronix Inc., both global electronics manufacturers, from 2013 to 2018. She focused on building a compliance program to prevent corruption, particularly in high risk countries such as China, Brazil, Russia and India, and overseeing the whistleblower program to ensure fair and thorough investigations of employee complaints. She continues to serve as Interim Compliance Counsel for Tektronix on a part-time basis. Previously, Susan was General Counsel at eMagin Corporation, Associate General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Washington Mutual, Inc. and Partner at Foster Pepper PLLC. She graduated with a degree in Human Biology from Stanford University and a law degree from U.C. Berkeley. She volunteers in the King County Neighborhood Legal Clinic program and has lived in Seattle since 1985. Ms. Taylor was appointed by the Commission in February 2019 to a term ending December 31, 2021.
Jeff Winmill is the principal of Winmill Law and Policy, LLC, where he represents clients on a variety of legal, regulatory, municipal and policy matters.  He is a former Director of Voter Protection for the Democratic Party in Washington State and was responsible for protecting voting rights in each of the state's 39 counties.  Prior to moving to Seattle, Jeff practiced energy and environmental law at a firm in Washington D.C. for a decade, was on the national staff of three presidential campaigns, and worked for the Minority Leader in the U.S Senate.   He and his wife, Dr. Chaitra Ujjani, live in Madison Valley and spend most of their time chasing or being chased by their one-year-old daughter.  He is originally from Pocatello, Idaho. Mr. Winmill was appointed by the City Council in 2021 for a term that expires December 31, 2023.
Please note that a Commissioner whose term has expired can continue to serve until a new appointment is made by the appropriate authority and confirmed by the City Council.
For staff information, see Contact Us. Last updated June 21, 2022