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Aide Cites Bilingual-Office Abuses

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The director of the office, Jesse M. Soriano, resigned this month in the wake of allegations of abuses in the contract- and grant-making processes, which the department's inspector general is now investigating.

"As you know, we've moved to change the leadership of that program,'' Gary L. Bauer, deputy undersecretary for planning, budget, and evaluation, told the Senate Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Education Department.

"It's a matter of high priority ... to make sure we don't have this sort of problem in the future," said Mr. Bauer.

Senator William Proxmire, Democrat of Wisconsin, had asked department witnesses--including Secretary of Education William J. Bennett--about one of the alleged improprieties, a prospective $1-million-plus grant to the Loyola School in Miami. Mr. Soriano had strongly supported the award, although other officials had recommended its rejection or a delay in its consideration three times last year. (See Education Week, April 3, 1985.)

Mr. Bauer said he would not be able immediately to provide information on the status of the grant to the Senate panel.

The new obemla director is Carol Pendas Whitten, a former official in both the Labor and Education departments.--jh

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