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Espy Won’t Run for Office

February 6, 1999

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) _ Mike Espy, acquitted in December of charges that he received inappropriate gifts while he was agriculture secretary, said Friday he won’t run for office this fall.

``I have to step back and rehabilitate,″ he said.

Espy, 45, said he will soon join a Mississippi law firm and hinted that the White House may appoint him to a part-time job.

The announcement ended weeks of speculation since Espy was found innocent of charges of receiving gifts and entertainment from companies or organizations regulated by the Agriculture Department.

In 1986, Espy became Mississippi’s first black congressman since Reconstruction. President Clinton named him agriculture secretary in 1993.

Espy would not name the law firm he plans to join or speculate what type of presidential appointment he could receive. He said he has spoken twice to Clinton since his December trial.

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