Former Idaho PUC commissioner, Democratic chairman Conley Ward dies at 66

October 29, 2013 

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 to 1986 and a leading figure in energy policy. From 1987 to 2000, he was chairman of the Idaho Democratic Party.

As a partner at Givens Pursley in Boise, Ward advised Idaho's rural telephone companies in the creation of Syringa Networks in 2002, which provides broadband services in rural Idaho.

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 the following statement about Ward's passing:

“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.”

Check Wednesday's Statesman for a full story.

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