WASHINGTON -- A search crew recovered the body of Richard Conlon from the Chesapeake Bay Tuesday, two days after the longtime congressional staffer disappeared in a sailing accident, authorities said.
Cpl. Tom Worob, an investigator with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, said a search plane sighted the body, which was recovered just before 4 p.m. off Herring Bay, on the eastern side of the Chesapeake south of Annapolis, Md.
Conlon, 57, who was sailing with his wife on a friend's 31-foot sailboat, was knocked overboard by a swinging boom while trying to free a tangled sail.
'It is our sad duty to announce that Richard Conlon died in a boating accident (Sunday),' members of the study group said.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources police said divers searched for Conlon, who fell overboard about 5 p.m. Sunday, until dusk that day and again on Monday and that the search would continue.
For the past 20 years Conlon of Falls Church, Va., directed the work of the study group, a research and reform organization for House Democrats, and just last Wednesday was honored by House members and colleagues for his efforts.
Conlon was 'the heart and soul of virtually every progressive effort in the Congress to strengthen the House of Representatives as an institution and to promote justice and equity in our public policies,' said DSG Chairman Rep. Mike Lowry, D-Wash., and former chairmen James Oberstar, D-Minn., Matthew McHugh, D-N.Y., David Obey, D-Wis., and Thomas Foley, D-Wash.
They termed his death 'an incalculable loss to progressive democratic forces in the House and throughout the country.'
The DSG has led congressional reform and campaign finance reform efforts in the House and is the major source of legislative and issue information for congressional Democrats.
A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Conlon worked as a reporter for the Duluth Herald & News Tribune from 1958 to 1962 and for the Minneapolis Tribune from 1962 to 1963. He then went to Washington as a congressional fellow and served as a press assistant to Sen. Walter Mondale, D-Minn., from 1965 to 1968, when he joined the DSG.
He is survived by his wife, Marti; three adult children, Charles, Michael and Kelli; and two grandchildren.