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James Tarpey

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James Tarpey
Colorado Public Utilities Commission
Former officeholder
In office
January 2, 2008 - January 7, 2014
Base salary$114,948
Elections and appointments
AppointedJanuary 2008, December 2008, November 2012
Appointed byGov. Bill Ritter, Gov. John Hickenlooper
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sSt. John's University (1965)
J.D.Fordham University (1968)
Office website
James Tarpey is a former member of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, the state body charged with regulating the state's utility companies. He was first appointed to fill a vacancy on the commission in January 2008 by then-Governor of Colorado Bill Ritter, who appointed him to his first full, four-year term December of that year. He was then reappointed by John Hickenlooper on November 2, 2012 for a term ending in 2017.[1]

Tarpey resigned from the commission in November 2013, far short of his term's scheduled 2017 expiration date.[2] Gov. John Hickenlooper appointed former state Rep. Glenn Vaad to replace Tarpey on December 10, 2013. Vaad's appointment took effect January 7, 2014. [3]


After earning his law degree, Tarpey served as a FBI Special Agent from 1968-1972. Before entering private practice in 1977, he worked as an Administrative Law Judge for the Colorado PUC and an Assistant Attorney General representing the Colorado PUC. From 1996 to 2000, Tarpey was involved in regulatory matters as the business executive. From 2001 to 2007 he represented energy consumers and utility proceedings in private practice. In 2004, Gov. Dave Freudenthal appointed Tarpey to the Wyoming Infrastructure Authority.[1]


  • Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Saint John’s University, 1965
  • J.D., Fordham University, 1968

Political career

Colorado Public Utilities Commission (2008-present)

Tarpey served as a member of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission from his initial appointment in 2008 until his retirement effective January 2014.[4] He joined the commission in January 2008 following his appointment by then-Governor of Colorado Bill Ritter and was subsequently reappointed to two full terms by Ritter and Ritter's successor, John Hickenlooper, in December 2008 and November 2012, respectively. Tarpey announced his retirement in November 2013 and was succeeded on January 7, 2014 by Glenn Vaad.


2008, 2012

Tarpey was appointed to serve on the three member public service commission by former Gov. Bill Ritter and assumed office on January 2, 2008. He was subsequently reappointed to two four-year terms, by Ritter in December 2008, and then by newly elected Gov. John Hickenlooper in November 2012. Tarpey's last term began January 7, 2013. He decided to retire from his post one year later.[1]

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Political offices
Preceded by
Colorado Public Utilities Commission
Succeeded by
Glenn Vaad