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Meese Fills Vacancies With Temporary Replacements

April 25, 1988

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Attorney General Edwin Meese III put five temporary replacements on the job Monday to fill vacant Justice Department posts.

In addition, Francis Keating plans to be running the No. 3 office at the department by the end of the week. Keating is the assistant Treasury Department secretary nominated by President Reagan on Friday to become associate attorney general.

Keating will move in to the post on an acting basis until confirmed by the Senate, said Justice Department spokesman Patrick Korten. Keating would replace Stephen Trott, who left earlier this month to become a federal appeals court judge.

Meese appointed Grace Mastalli and C.H. Albright as assistants in the associate attorney general’s office. Keating will choose his own deputies after he arrives.

Mastalli works in the executive office of U.S. attorneys and Albright has been a special assistant to Assistant Attorney General John Bolton, now in charge of the civil division.

Department aides James Byrnes, John Howard and Thomas Christina were named to fill three slots in the office of former Deputy Attorney General Arnold Burns.

Byrnes works in the department’s lands division, Howard is special counsel for personnel and Christina is a deputy in the Office of Legal Policy.

Burns is one of two Justice Department officials who resigned in protest March 29 over Meese’s continued tenure. Five of Burns’ six deputies are leaving. Burns’ last day on the job was Friday, two days after he and former Assistant Attorney General William Weld outlined their objections to Meese in a blunt face-to-face meeting with Reagan at the White House.

Burns said a malaise has infected the Justice Department and Weld said that if it were up to him, he would seek an indictment of Meese for his involvement with longtime friend E. Robert Wallach.

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