Governor Gordon appoints additional Cabinet members, accepts retirement of Game & Fish director

WYOMING – Governor Mark Gordon announced yesterday new appointments to his Cabinet. In addition, there is late-breaking news today that Gordon has also accepted a retirement notice from Game and Fish Director Scott Talbott.

Governor Gordon appointed Jim Ruby as the director of the Wyoming Office of Administrative Hearings and reappointed Del McOmie as the director of the Wyoming State Construction Department, Darin Westby as director of the Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources, Dr. Erin Campbell as the Wyoming State Geologist, Michael Reed as the State Fire Marshal, Diane M. Lozano as the Wyoming State Public Defender, and Tom Glause as the Insurance Commissioner of the Wyoming Department of Insurance.

Scott Talbott (Intermountain West Joint Venture)

“Coming from the Environmental Quality Council, Jim Ruby brings a wealth of legal experience to conduct fair and impartial contested case hearings,” Governor Gordon said. “I’m also very pleased to announce that Del McOmie, Darin Westby, Dr. Erin Campbell, Michael Reed, Diane M. Lozano, and Tom Glause have agreed to stay and be part of my Cabinet.”

The governor will announce more of his Cabinet next week. He is following the formal process for the appointment of the Wyoming Adjutant General and developing a stakeholder process to name the State Engineer and the director of the Wyoming Water Development Commission.

According to Rachel Girt, communications director for Governor Gordon, Scott Talbott first announced his retirement at a Game and Fish Commission function Thursday night. Girt confirmed the governor has since been made aware and will eventually appoint a new director from a list of three candidates to be put forth by WGFD. Talbott has headed the agency since 2011.

Wyoming Office of Administrative Hearings

Ruby has served as the executive officer of the Wyoming Environmental Quality Council since 2008. He replaces Peter Froelicher, who was appointed by Governor Matt Mead to be a District Court Judge in Wyoming’s First Judicial District in December 2018. Ruby served as the legal counsel for the Nebraska Legislature for three years and Seward County Attorney in Nebraska for four years.

Wyoming State Construction Department

McOmie has served as the director of the State Construction Department, overseeing the School Facilities Division and Construction Management Division since 2016. He has served as chief engineer for the Wyoming Department of Transportation, interim director of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, and director of Wyoming School Facilities.

Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources

Westby has been the director of the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources since August 2016. Westby has over 24 years of experience in the environmental, architectural, engineering, construction and management fields. This includes twenty years in State employment and seventeen years with the agency. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wyoming, a Civil Professional Engineering license, and a certificate in public management.

Wyoming State Geological Survey

Campbell has served as the State Geologist and director of the State Geological Survey since being appointed to the position in 2017. She previously worked at WSGS as the Manager of Energy and Minerals Resources. She is the first woman to be named Wyoming State Geologist. Campbell has a B.A. in Geology from Occidental College in Los Angeles and a Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Wyoming (UW). Prior to working at WSGS, she worked for Chevron and as a lecturer at UW.

Wyoming State Public Defender

Lozano has served as the Wyoming State Public Defender since 2007. After 13 years as a trial attorney for the State of Wyoming Public Defender, she was appointed the State Public Defender in 2007 by Governor Dave Freudenthal and then reappointed in 2011 by Governor Matt Mead.

Wyoming Department of Fire Prevention and Electrical Safety

Reed has served as the Wyoming State Fire Marshal, heading up the Department of Fire Prevention and Electrical Safety since 2016. Prior to that, he served as a policy advisor for Governor Matt Mead. He spent 24 years in active law enforcement, including twelve years as Chief of Police in Rawlins. He has extensive training in law enforcement, fire inspection, arson investigation, emergency management, and incident command. He also attended the FBI National Academy and served as President of the Wyoming Sheriffs and Chiefs Association. He is an active member of the International Association of Arson Investigators, National and International Association of State Fire Marshals and has chaired many committees.

Wyoming Department of Insurance

Glause has served as the Insurance Commissioner of the Wyoming Department of Insurance since 2015. Prior to this, he served as vice chairman of the Wyoming State Board of Equalization. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Wyoming in 1984 and a law degree from the University of Wyoming, College of Law in 1987. Glause is active in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) where he serves as vice-chairman of the Financial Conditions Committee, secretary/treasurer of the Western Zone and is the Whip for the Government Relations Leadership Council. Glause also serves as President of the National Insurance Producers Registry.

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