Department of Justice Seal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          AG
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 1997                        (202) 616-2777
                                               TDD (202) 514-1888


     WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Attorney General Janet Reno and FBI
Director Louis Freeh today brought in additional personnel to
augment the task force investigating allegations of campaign
finance violations in the 1996 election.

     Charles G. La Bella, the First Assistant United States
Attorney in San Diego, will join the task force as the chief
prosecutor.  La Bella, a career prosecutor, served as Chief of
the Criminal Division in San Diego from 1993 to 1996, and prior
to that was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District
of New York for 11 years.  He has prosecuted many white collar
and corruption cases, including most recently the prosecution of
three Superior Court judges and a prominent attorney in
California on charges of corruption.

     James V. DeSarno, Jr., Deputy Assistant Director of
Operations for the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services
Division, will join the task force as the Special Agent in Charge
of the task force investigation.  DeSarno, who has been in the
FBI for more than 20 years, served previously as the Special
Agent in Charge of the New Orleans Division of the FBI, and as a
section chief in the Information Resource Division where he was
responsible for automation support of field office investigations
and major cases.

     In addition, the FBI and the Department of Justice will be
assigning additional prosecutors, investigators and analysts to
the task force.  The task force will continue to be supervised by
Lee Radek, Chief of the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal
Division, and Acting Assistant Attorney General Mark M. Richard. 
Additionally, La Bella and DeSarno will meet regularly with the
Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General and the FBI
Director, and brief them about the progress of the investigation.

     These significant additions to the task force reflect the
Attorney General's commitment to ensure that it has all of the
resources necessary to thoroughly pursue every lead.  
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