About Us

What we do

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)

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.

Angela Oberhansly
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.

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.

Sarah Grant
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.

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

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

Sarah Grant

Sarah Grant joined the Office of Hearing Examiner on March 30, 2023.  Sarah is from Wisconsin and has lived in the Seattle Area since 2005.  Sarah earned her English Degree from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.  Before coming to the Hearing Examiner’s Office, Sarah had the privilege of working with a variety of companies, including the Polyclinic, in an administrative role, and as the Culinary Coordinator at Sur La Table.

To contact via email: Sarah.Grant@Seattle.gov

Hearing Examiner

Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 4000, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94729, Seattle, WA, 98124
Phone: (206) 684-0521
Contact Us
Hours: Mon - Fri 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

The Office of Hearing Examiner is a separate and independent office of the City created by the Seattle Municipal Code. The Office is charged with conducting fair and impartial administrative hearings, when authorized by the Code, to review the actions of various City departments.