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3 Federal Agencies Probing Cavazos Travel Practices

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Washington--The Education and Justice departments and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are examining whether the travel practices of former Secretary of Education Lauro F. Cavazos violated federal regulations, current and former Bush Administration officials said last week.

Reports surfaced last fall that the Education Department's inspector general was investigating the travel practices of Mr. Cavazos and his wife, Peggy, as well as Mrs. Cavazos' role at the agency, where she was a prominent presence.

Department officials confirmed then that the agency's watchdog office was investigating whether the couple booked flights on Trans World Airlines--sometimes using more expensive, circuitous routes--to enable Mrs. Cavazos to fly free, using the travel privileges of a son employed by the airline.

Administration officials and former aides to Mr. Cavazos who have been interviewed by investigators confirmed the involvement of the Justice Department and the f.b.i. after news reports on the investiga8tion appeared last week. The media's interest may have been sparked by recent revelations of expensive unofficial travel on military aircraft by John H. Sununu, the President's chief of staff.

Frequent-Flyer Bonuses

Current and former officials also said the investigators are examining whether Mr. Cavazos used frequent-flier miles accumulated on official trips to obtain tickets for his wife. Government policy requires that such bonuses be used for official business.

Mr. Cavazos resigned last December under pressure from the White House, and has refused almost all requests for interviews. He could not be reached for comment last week.--j.m.

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