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Probe of Backdated Documents Asked

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U.S. Representative Ted Weiss, Democrat of New York, has asked the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the handling of civil-rights complaints by regional offices of the U.S. Education Department.

Mr. Weiss is chairman of a House Government Operations subcommittee that conducted a hearing late last month after revelations that Education Department employees had backdated documents, improperly suspended the processing of cases, and persuaded plaintiffs to withdraw allegations of discrimination against educational institutions. (See Education Week, April 29, 1987.)

The actions were taken to make it appear as if the regional offices were meeting deadlines set forth in a federal court order that governs the processing of civil-rights complaints by the department's office for civil rights.

In a letter sent last week to Attorney General Edwin Meese 3rd, Mr. Weiss asked the Justice Department to undertake the review "in light of the seriousness of providing false information to a federal court, and the possible criminal and civil violations of law involved in these matters.''

He asked that the investigation encompass all 10 regional O.C.R. offices and "any possible involvement of central-office officials.''

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