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December 24, 1987

Lawrence Iason, a lawyer who specializes in white-collar criminal cases, has been named administrator of the Securities and Exchange Commission's key New York office. The move eliminates a vacancy caused by a shake-up three months ago that had resulted from sagging staff morale.

Iason, 42, will assume the post at the end of January.

A former prosecutor in the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan, Iason has considerable experience in white-collar criminal cases and in representing clients before the SEC and other regulatory agencies.

He is now with Obermaier, Morvillo, Abramowitz & Iason, a prominent Manhattan law firm that he joined in 1985.

His appointment followed an unstable period at the SEC's New York office, considered the most important and prestigious of the nine agency offices nationwide because of New York's position as a world financial center.

Reports of unhappiness among the office's 200 employees surfaced after the appointment in early 1987 of Kathleen M. Warwick as the New York administrator. Warwick alienated many subordinates, who privately complained she was aloof and not aggressive in pursuing insider trading investigations.

She resigned Sept. 29 after SEC Chairman David S. Ruder dispatched a team of investigators to the office to determine the sources of discontent. At the time, there were rumors that half of the staff's senior attorneys were looking for new jobs.

Under a temporary arrangement, two SEC officials from Washington have been running the New York office since Warwick's departure.

James A. Clarkson, the SEC's director of regional office operations, and William McLucas, an associate director of enforcement, will return full time to those positions upon Iason's arrival.

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