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House to look into Ashcroft appointment

Feb. 18, 2008 at 2:48 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- A congressional subcommittee wants to know why former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft was appointed to a multimillion-dollar corporate monitor position.

New Jersey U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie appointed Ashcroft to the position that could result in $27 million to $52 million in fees for his Washington consulting firm, The Star-Ledger newspaper in Newark, N.J., reported Monday.

Neither Christie nor Ashcroft have responded to the invitation to meet with the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee group that investigates commercial and administrative law, the report said. Christie, however, told reporters Thursday, "If my bosses at the Department of Justice call and ask me to come and testify, I will follow their direction."

The requests to meet with the committee on Feb. 26 were sent out two weeks ago, the report said.

Monitors are often hired to oversee out-of-court settlements that involve companies involved in federal prosecution. Zimmer Holdings, an Indiana manufacturer has agreed to have a monitor oversee a fraud investigation that Christie's office is pursuing.

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