About Betty Richardson
Betty was born and raised in Lewiston, Idaho. Her dad was a Danish immigrant, a naturalized citizen whose passion for his adopted country knew no bounds. Dinner at Betty’s house was often an occasion for a civics lesson: education was a core value and public service was simply the price well paid for the blessings of country and community.
As a young adult, Betty worked in blue collar, pink collar and white collar jobs to put herself through college at the University of Idaho where she earned a degree in Political Science. When it came time to select a career, Betty looked for some place she could make a difference. Inspired by the contributions and wisdom of our founding fathers – many lawyers among them – Betty chose a career in law.
Betty has been married for 33 years to her husband, Peter, a lawyer in Boise. They are the proud parents of two grown children, both of whom attended Idaho public schools. Betty credits her public school teachers, along with her parents, for inspiring her to pursue a career in public service. In two of her most significant leadership roles, Betty broke new ground, being the first woman appointed to the Idaho Industrial Commission and the first woman appointed to serve as Idaho’s United States Attorney.
Betty Richardson: A Proven Record of Public Service
Idaho’s United States Attorney
Nominated by the President and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate, Betty served as Idaho’s United States Attorney for seven years. As the top federal law enforcement officer in the state, Betty expanded victim’s rights programs, prosecuted drug dealers, and recovered more than seventy-five million dollars in fines which went to help fight crime. She created a highly successful drug education program that reached thousands of Idaho families and worked in partnership with state, local and tribal law enforcement to host Idaho’s first-ever conferences on hate crimes and methamphetamine.
Betty knows that our first responders – firefighters and police officers – are our first line of defense in keeping our neighborhoods and communities safe, and she strongly supports those who serve in these critical public safety roles.
Chairman and Member of the Idaho Industrial Commission
Nominated by Governor Cecil D. Andrus and confirmed by the Idaho State Senate, Betty adjudicated workers’ compensation disputes, reviewed appeals from the Department of Employment, and administered the Idaho Crime Victim’s Compensation Program. Her service on the Industrial Commission was applauded by representatives of business and labor alike: along with her fellow commissioners, she streamlined red tape, implemented a successful mediation program, and improved the administration of justice for those injured on the job.