About Us

What we do

HEARING EXAMINER
Ryan Vancil

The Hearing Examiner serves as the City's principal administrative law judge: an independent official charged with the responsibility of reviewing decisions made by a variety of City agencies. The Hearing Examiner regulates the conduct of hearings and prepares decisions and recommendations based upon the hearing record and applicable law. As the head of the department, the Hearing Examiner is also responsible for appointment and supervision of staff, updating hearing rules and procedures, and overseeing any outside contracts for services. (The Hearing Examiner's functions, authority, appointment, and jurisdictions are described in the Citizen Guide, the Annual Report, and SMC 3.02.110)

DEPUTY HEARING EXAMINER
Susan Drummond
The Deputy Hearing Examiner is appointed by the Hearing Examiner and is deputized to conduct hearings and to exercise the Hearing Examiner's decision-making authority. The Municipal Code requires that the Deputy Hearing Examiner be an attorney with training and experience in administrative hearings. See the Citizen Guide, the Annual Report, and SMC 3.02.110 for Hearing Examiner functions, authority, appointment, and jurisdictions.

LEGAL ASSISTANT
Galen Edlund-Cho
The Legal Assistant assists at hearings to ensure that the proceedings are properly recorded and exhibits are identified and secured. The Legal Assistant also assists the Hearing Examiner and the Deputy Hearing Examiner with cases both before and after the hearing. The Legal Assistant has primary responsibility for providing information to the public and to hearing participants, and for verifying the accuracy and completeness of case records for transmittal to court on appeal.

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
Patricia Cole

The Executive Assistant has responsibility for office administration, including research and analysis on a variety of operational and administrative issues; project management; budget development and oversight; human resource management, including recruiting, training, and career development; initiating and maintaining vendor relationships; accounting; and technology management.

ADMINISTRATIVE SPECIALIST
Angela Oberhansly
The Administrative Specialist serves as the initial contact in the Hearing Examiner's office and assists the public, City staff and parties in cases with information regarding hearing procedures, rules, and similar matters. The Administrative Specialist also provides a full range of general administrative support functions for the office, including the processing of incoming appeals, SFD, SDCI, and SDOT citation defaults and collections, and is the primary contact for ordering copies of proceedings.

Who we are

Ryan Vancil

Ryan Vancil was appointed as Hearing Examiner in March of 2018. Mr. Vancil joined the office as Deputy Hearing Examiner in October of 2016. Before coming to the office, Mr. Vancil was in private practice and has extensive experience in land use, real property, environmental and local government law. He has also served as an arbitrator and mediator.

Mr. Vancil is a graduate of the Seattle University School of Law and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Williamette University. He is a member of the Washington State Bar Association.

Susan Drummond

Susan Drummond joined the office as Deputy Hearing Examiner in 2021. Before coming to the office, Ms. Drummond was in private practice. She has served as a hearing examiner throughout the state and brings to the office over 20-years of experience in land use, real property, environmental and local government law.  She is a Seattle University School of Law graduate, and Washington State Bar Association member.

Galen Edlund-Cho

Galen Edlund-Cho joined the Office of Hearing Examiner on July 15, 2019, from the State Auditor’s Office where he served as an Assistant State Auditor. He also served as the in-house paralegal for Seattle-King County Public Health, Environmental Health Division.

Galen graduated from the University of Washington, Seattle, earning his Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, with a minor in Political Science. Additionally, he earned his Advanced Paralegal Certificate from an ABA accredited paralegal program.

Patricia Cole

Patricia Cole re-joined the Office of Hearing Examiner on December 22, 2021, having previously served in this position from October 2007 to April 2016.  She served as Finance Manager for the City of Seattle Human Services Department from April 2016 to November 2020. She has over thirty years of experience in providing complex administrative services. Ms. Cole holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration from the California State University, Dominguez Hills.

To contact via email: Pat.Cole2@seattle.gov

Angela Oberhansly 

Angela Oberhansly joined the office of Hearing Examiner in June of 2019. Angela has 19 years working in various customer service roles. She graduated from Shoreline Community College with an Associate in Arts, with a focus in computer science and mathematics. She is currently enrolled at Western Governors University to complete her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She focuses her career to be engaged with Seattle's local organizations and growing community.

To contact via email: angela.oberhansly@seattle.gov