Time: Fri Dec 12 04:59:08 1997
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
Subject: SLS: "Bombshell From Low-Profile Prosecutor," NYT (fwd)
Bcc: sls

>The New York Times
>December 12, 1997
>Bombshell From Low-Profile Prosecutor
>WASHINGTON -- In the two and a half years that he has been investigating
>former Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros, David M. Barrett has been among
>the most private of public figures. 
>It is safe to say that Barrett, an independent counsel appointed in May
>1995, could walk into any restaurant in the capital without setting off
>a buzz. He is far less known than another independent prosecutor,
>Kenneth W. Starr, whose unremarkable if pleasant enough face has become
>familiar in connection with the Whitewater affair. 
>It was clear Thursday that Barrett was not interested in raising his
>profile. Edward Page, a senior associate independent counsel in
>Barrett's office, said his boss would not comment beyond the words in
>the indictment and announcement detailing the charges against Cisneros
>and three other people. 
>Obscure or not, Barrett had an impact long before the indictments were
>announced Thursday. For months, lawyers at the Justice Department had
>found his presence in Washington increasingly annoying. 
>Much of the irritation arose from the growing disillusionment among
>Attorney General Janet Reno and her top advisers over the independent
>counsel law, enacted after the Watergate era as a mechanism for
>investigating wrongdoing by high government officials without conflicts
>of interest. 
>By law, the attorney general decides whether to refer a case to an
>independent counsel and what that prosecutor's charter will be. When
>Reno selected Barrett, she and her top aides reportedly thought the
>prosecutor's mission -- to investigate the seemingly simple accusation
>that Cisneros had lied about how much money he paid to a former mistress
>-- would take him two months or so. 
>But Barrett, 58 years old at the time of his appointment, a former
>county prosecutor in Indiana and a former federal prosecutor, had had
>previous experience as a special counsel, investigating Rep. Dan Flood,
>D-Pa., on corruption charges in 1979 and 1980. Flood quit after an
>18-month inquiry. 
>Thursday, with the seemingly simple investigation of Cisneros having
>lasted two and a half years, Barrett obtained charges that could send
>the former Cabinet member and three other people to prison for years. 
>Copyright 1997 The New York Times Company

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