House Republican aide declines No. 3 post at CIA

Rostiw's 1982 resignation from agency is questioned

October 05, 2004|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON - The House Republican aide named to become the No. 3 official at the CIA said yesterday that he would not accept the post because of questions about his resignation from the agency 22 years ago.

Michael V. Kostiw, said that he would still go to the CIA as a senior adviser to Porter J. Goss, the new director of central intelligence. Kostiw, 57, said he had decided that "allegations about my past would be a distraction from the critical work" on which Goss now needs to focus.

As the CIA's executive director, Kostiw would have served as the agency's day-to-day manager, overseeing many budget and personnel decisions.

An intelligence official said the questions about Kostiw's resignation had raised doubts "about whether this was the best position for him to serve."

The Washington Post reported that Kostiw had resigned from the agency in 1982 in connection with a shoplifting case. The Post described Kostiw as having resigned under pressure, saying that he had decided to resign while on leave and that, in return, CIA officials had arranged for misdemeanor theft charges to be dropped and the police record expunged.

In his statement, Kostiw did not address those allegations in any detail, but said that his decision was based on "recent press articles and attendant speculation."

A CIA spokesman, Mark Mansfield, declined to comment beyond Kostiw's statement.

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