WASHINGTON — Former Sen. Howard H. Baker Jr. took over today as President Reagan's White House chief of staff, promising "no wholesale firings, no wholesale requests for resignations," a spokesman said.
Marlin Fitzwater told reporters, however, that White House counsel J. Peter Wallison has indicated a desire to leave and that Wallison will be replaced by A. V. Culvahouse, a partner with Baker in the Washington law firm of Vinson & Elkins.
Wallison had been involved in coordinating Reagan's responses to various investigations into the Iran- contra affair.
With Reagan preparing to address the nation this week on the Iran-contra arms affair, Baker conducted his first staff meeting, which Fitzwater described as "humorous, but to the point."
Fitzwater said that while Baker assured White House staff members that there would be no shake-up, Baker "would have private consultations later if there was any need to discuss a job change."