Judge top choice for Justice post, official says

February 04, 1993|By New York Times News Service

WASHINGTON -- President Clinton is close to a decision on a choice for attorney general, with the leading candidate being U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood of New York, an administration official said last night.

Mr. Clinton, who hopes to make the decision in the next day or two, is also said to be considering Charles F. C. Ruff, a Washington lawyer, and Gerald L. Baliles, a former governor of Virginia, the official said.

But Judge Wood, the official said, is without a doubt the leading contender, having impressed both Mr. Clinton and his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, in separate interviews at the White House last weekend.

While the decision is likely to come this week, any announcement could be delayed until early next week, to give time for further background checks on the person selected, administration officials said.

Mr. Clinton is particularly anxious to have the background of the nominee thoroughly checked out to prevent a repetition of the troubles that derailed Zoe Baird, his first choice, who withdrew after a furor over her hiring of illegal aliens as household workers.

Judge Wood is best known as the judge who sentenced the financier Michael Milken to prison. The 48-year-old judge, who describes herself as a moderate Democrat, was named to the bench in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan.

Mr. Ruff was mentioned recently as Mr. Clinton's choice for deputy attorney general. But an administration official said last night that he was not out of the running for the attorney general's job. Mr. Ruff is a former U.S. attorney. He is now a partner in the Washington law firm of Covington & Burling.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.