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Friday, May 18, 2007
Gonzales avoids controversies at awards ceremony

Gonzales did not mention the controversies surrounding the Justice Department Friday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In his only public appearance Friday, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales did not mention -- or even make an indirect reference to -- the continuing controversies over U.S. attorneys or former Deputy Attorney General James Comey's "hospital" testimony earlier in the week.

As promised, Gonzales arrived and departed from the event without being seen, and there was no opportunity to throw a question at him during the event, an awards ceremony for law enforcement officers and others involved in finding missing children.

Of note, Gonzales did receive a standing ovation from the few hundred who filled the auditorium at the Lansburgh Theatre in Washington.

Child advocates and those who work to combat child exploitation and predators generally support Gonzales strongly because it is an issue he cares about and has made a priority.

Gonzales said, "I've been looking forward to this. We're here to award heroes." There's no doubt he was glad to have a friendly audience for a change.

-- CNN Justice Producer Terry Frieden
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