Subject: Justice Department prosecutors recommend probe of former Energy Secretary
U.S. Justice Department prosecutors have recommended that U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno take the next step toward the appointment of an independent counsel to investigate former Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary, CNN has learned.
At issue are allegations that she accepted a bribe from a controversial Democratic campaign fund-raiser.
Sources say if Reno takes the advice of the prosecutors, FBI agents would launch an intensive 90 day probe that could result in the naming of an independent counsel.
The allegations stem from an October 1995 meeting O'Leary held with a Chinese business executive. That meeting was arranged with the help of Johnny Chung. Chung said the meeting was the result of a $25,000 gift he made to O'Leary's favorite charity.
O'Leary has flatly denied the allegations.
Chung has said the donation to Africare came at the request of a lobbyist and an Energy Department official working with O'Leary. The organization promotes economic development and health care in rural Africa.
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Thursday Sept. 18, 1997
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