Conley Ward, who grew up in Owyhee County and went on to Columbia University and a distinguished career as a utilities regulator and lawyer, died Monday at his home in Kuna.
Ward, 66, was one of three members of the Idaho Public Utilities Commission from 1977-86 and a leading figure in energy policy. From 1988-1991, he was chairman of the Idaho Democratic Party.
Ward’s wife, Gail, said Ward died at home and was in hospice care. Diagnosed with leukemia in April, he underwent chemotherapy at Mountain States Tumor Institute.
Former Democratic Gov. Cecil Andrus issued a statement about Ward’s passing. I’ll have a full story in Wednesday’s Statesman.
The Andrus statement:
“I’m saddened by Conley Ward’s untimely passing and Carol and I extend our sympathy to his family and friends. There have been few more influential voices on Idaho and regional energy issues in the last 40 years than Conley Ward. He had a lawyer’s eye for detail as well as a deep concern for the little guy that made him a truly effective analyst, regulator and advocate. His finger prints are all over decisions ranging from the wise rejection of the Pioneer coal plant in the 1970’s to alternative energy and telecommunications policy. I would be remiss if I didn’t also say he was a loyal Democrat who served as a very effective state party chairman. I benefited from his support, advice and friendship. He’ll be greatly missed.”