Chris Stearns, a Navajo and an attorney specializing in tribal law, has been elected as chairman of the Washington State Gambling Commission.
Stearns, a commission member, previously served four years as counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources and was the first-ever Director of Indian Affairs for the U.S. Department of Energy.
He also is past chairman of the Seattle Human Rights Commission.
According to a commission release Friday, Stearns was appointed as a commissioner in May 2013 by Governor Jay Inslee. He is the first Native American elected chairman of the gambling commission.
Also in recent agency action, Bud Sizemore has been appointed as vice chairman of the commission.
Sizemore is a former mayor pro tempore and member of the Covington City Council, and legislative liaison for the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters. He is a fire fighter with the Kent Fire Department Regional Fire Authority.
He was appointed as a commissioner in April 2014 by Inslee.
The gambling commission is a limited jurisdiction law enforcement agency and the only statewide agency devoted to gambling regulation, licensing and enforcement. Five citizens are appointed by the governor, with the consent of the Senate, to act as part-time commissioners for a single six-year term.