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Giuliani, Citing Criminal Probes, Decides Not to Enter Senate Race

February 09, 1988|JOHN J. GOLDMAN | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — Ending months of speculation, U.S. Atty. Rudolph W. Giuliani said Monday he has decidaed not to seek the Senate seat held by New York Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

"I have concluded that I should not leave the U.S. attorney's office at this particular time," Giuliani, a Republican appointee, told his staff. ". . . It would be wrong for me to leave this office now, whatever the allure of another office or opportunity, because I believe it would adversely affect some very sensitive matters still in progress."

The U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan is conducting investigations of Wall Street insider trading, the probe of influence peddling in the awarding of federal contracts to Wedtech Corp., and New York's organized crime families, among other key cases. Some of the Wall Street investigations have proved to be long and extremely difficult.

Moynihan Strength Cited

Also, in recent weeks Moynihan, with the help of a series of early-running TV commercials--some featuring Gov. Mario M. Cuomo--appears to have solidified his strength. Moynihan is seeking a third term.

Early soundings by Giuliani showed that his own identity and reputation were greatest in New York City and that there was decided weakness among conservative upstate Republicans.

Some politicians believe that Giuliani may be waiting to run for mayor of New York City next year against Edward I. Koch, whose administration has been troubled by corruption investigations.

In speaking with reporters Monday, Giuliani, 43, said his decision to remain in office did not preclude seeking elected office in the future.

"I guess we scratch off the Senate," he said. "Other offices in the future, it's silly for me to speculate. I know everybody else will, but it's silly for me to do so."

He said that he was "gratified and honored" by supporters who urged him to make the race.

Differences With D'Amato

During the period when he was considering resigning, differences over his successor arose with Republican Sen. Alfonse M. D'Amato of New York. Giuliani lobbied vigorously for Howard Wilson, the chief of his office's criminal division. But D'Amato rejected the suggestion and asked for a screening committee to consider the next U.S. attorney for Manhattan.

Giuliani said that he had not spoken with D'Amato in three or four weeks.

"If I had been able to see an orderly transition," he said, "I might have a different decision."

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