Gov. Laura Kelly has named the Kansas Lottery's top attorney to serve as its interim executive director

in People

Gov. Laura Kelly said an attorney for the past decade with the Kansas Lottery would serve as interim executive director of the gaming agency.

The Democratic governor said prior to her State of the State speech Wednesday that Stephen Durrell would serve as the top official pending appointment of a permanent executive director. He’s worked as chief counsel at the Kansas Lottery since 2007.

“Stephen brings decades of experience in business and regulatory environments, particularly in innovative and creative business solutions,” Kelly said.

Durrell, a Washburn University law school graduate, has drafted lottery rules and regulations while handling day-to-day legal operations. He previously was assistant attorney general for the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.

The lottery operates its games of chance and oversees four state-owned casinos through contracts with private management companies. Kelly's office said Durrell was involved in negotiating the existing contracts and drafted rules for the lottery's games.

As interim director, he replaces Terry Presta, a former Kansas House member appointed to the job in 2013 by then-Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.