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Common Cause says Meese still unfit for attorney general

Although an independent counsel cleared presidential counselor Edwin Meese III last September of wrongdoing, Common Cause says its analysis of the findings shows he is nevertheless ''not fit to serve'' as attorney general because he violated an executive order barring even the appearance of conflict of interest by public officials.

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''The independent counsel only looked for indictable crimes,'' Common Cause president Fred Wertheimer said Monday. ''We looked at the whole question of the ethics involved.''

Mr. Meese was accused of ethical misconduct and rewarding friends with government jobs in exchange for loans and other financial favors.