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Ex-US prosecutor charged with contempt of court

A former federal prosecutor has been charged with contempt of court in what officials believe is the first federal indictment of anyone for actions allegedly taken while serving as a US attorney.

Former US Attorney J. William Petro was accused Wednesday of revealing the existence of a sealed indictment to a friend of one of the defendants named in the indictment.

Mr. Petro was fired earlier this month by President Reagan, who appointed him the US attorney in Cleveland in March 1982. He had served as Reagan's state campaign coordinator in the 1980 election.

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