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Federal File: Demand reducer; Apology to Apaches; Transfers

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Published reports indicate that William J. Bennett, the federal "drug czar," will soon announce that he has chosen a drug-addiction researcher to oversee efforts to reduce demand for illegal drugs.

Herbert D. Kleber, a professor of psychiatry at the Yale University Medical School, reportedly has been tapped by Mr. Bennett to become the deputy director for demand reduction.

Both Mr. Bennett's office and Dr. Kleber refused to confirm the reports.

Dr. Kleber is chief executive officer of the apt Foundation and director of the substance-abuse treatment unit at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. The two facilities together treat as many as 1,000 addicts daily.

"I would be very honored to be nominated for the job," Dr. Kleber said last week.

The chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has written a letter of apology to an Apache girl, her parents, and their tribal chief for embroiling himself in a custody battle over the girl.

William Barclay Allen's expression of regret came amid rumors that the White House was seeking to replace him and after a reprimand from his fellow panel members for interviewing the 14-year-old girl without her parents' permission.

Mr. Allen and an associate were detained by Arizona police Feb. 7 on kidnapping charges after they talked with the girl, who was the object of a custody dispute involving her mother, her adoptive parents, and tribal leaders.

Thomas Bellamy and Michael Herrell, two top officials in the Education Department's office of special education and rehabilitative services, have been reassigned to positions outside osers.

The transfers coincide with speculation about a forthcoming General Accounting Office report that is said to be critical of osers management.

Mr. Bellamy, who served as executive administrator to Madeleine C. Will when she was assistant secretary for the office, has been reassigned to the office of educational research and improvement. Mr. Herrell will move to the administrative-services division.

Mary Crawford, a press officer for Secretary of Education Lauro F. Cavazos, said the transfers "are a natural part of the transition process and are in the interest of better management."

The osers positions will remain vacant until a new assistant secretary is appointed.--ef & rrw

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