Reno denies key figure in tobacco suits to get job
Attorney General Janet Reno on Thursday praised Mississippi Attorney General Mike Moore, a key figure in suing the tobacco industry, but was unable to confirm that he would get a top U.S. Justice Department job.
"I think so highly of Mr. Moore,'' Reno said. She was responding to news reports that Moore was in line to become associate attorney general, the Justice Department's third highest post.
The person in that job supervises the Justice Department's threatened lawsuit against the tobacco industry to recover the billions of dollars spent by the federal government to treat people with smoking-related illnesses.
Moore played a key role when the states sued the tobacco industry to recover their costs. The tobacco companies agreed in November to pay 46 states $206 billion in a broad deal that was the largest settlement of civil suits in history.