Dollar Dialing Probe Disconnected

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WASHINGTON: Say goodnight, Fred. Janet Reno's people are recommending against the appointment of an independent counsel to look into Bill Clinton and Al Gore's telephone fund-raising from the White House and she's ready to sign off on the report.

Though she officially has until December 2 to decide, Reno is said to be about to close the matter before Thanksgiving, opting also to drop a probe into whether former Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary solicited a charitable contribution from a lobbyist in return for a meeting.

As ever, the attorney general reserves the right to change her mind. Justice hounds are still sniffing around a multitude of fund-raising activities, and Reno has assured frustrated Republicans that if anything big turns up, well, they'll be the first to know.