Former Chief Deputy Attorney General
Don Howell is former Chief Deputy Attorney General, Idaho Public Utilities Commission.
Conversations with three Commissioners, some members of Staff, and two illustrious recently-retired regulators from the Gem State.
PUF: You're somewhat recently retired but have played a part in utility regulation in Idaho. What was your role and how long were you there?
Don Howell: I started full time in 1986 and retired in 2016, so for thirty years I was assigned to the Public Utilities Commission. The first five years I was a Staff attorney, and then the last twenty-five I was the lead deputy or the general counsel.
PUF: You were from the attorney general's office, but were assigned to the Commission, so you were like a hybrid. How did that work?
Don Howell: It is kind of a hybrid. When I was hired in 1986, I interviewed with the then three Commissioners and they must have liked me. Then I had an interview with the then attorney general, and I got assigned.
In about the '90s, Idaho had a consolidation effort so that all the deputy attorney generals in the state worked for the attorney general, but by and large, it's easier for me simply to say that the PUC was my primary client.
PUF: Were you a fairly integrated part of the different utilities' divisions and the Commission secretary? How did that work?