Sessions Back in Hospital; FBI Oath Off Again

Times Staff Writer

FBI Director-designate William S. Sessions suffered a recurrence of a bleeding ulcer Tuesday and was hospitalized again in San Antonio, forcing an indefinite postponement of his swearing-in ceremony.

Sessions, 57, who had been released Saturday from George Washington University Hospital in Washington, was scheduled to be sworn in Thursday as the bureau’s new director. He had returned to his Texas home over the weekend for a few days’ rest.

Acting FBI Director John E. Otto, in disclosing the new illness, said Dr. Richard Rubio, Sessions’ private physician, concluded that the former federal judge “is believed to have experienced more bleeding, which is not uncommon in these cases.


No Surgery Seen

“He is in stable condition, and Dr. Rubio does not consider his illness to be life-threatening, nor is any surgery anticipated.”

Sessions was admitted to Methodist Hospital in San Antonio “for observation and treatment,” an FBI statement said.

On his release from the hospital in Washington, Sessions had told reporters that he felt good and planned to return to the capital today, 24 hours before taking his oath of office. ‘I’m ready to go,” he said.

To allow Sessions to resume a normal workload, doctors in Washington had prescribed medication to reduce acid secretions in his stomach and allow the ulcer to heal. Dr. Allen Ginsberg, one of the physicians who attended him in Washington, said the chances of a recurrence of bleeding were only 5% to 10%.

Took Aspirin

Sessions was first hospitalized last week after becoming ill on a flight to Washington for an oath-taking ceremony that originally had been set for last Thursday. His illness was said to have resulted from a previously undiagnosed duodenal ulcer that was aggravated when he took aspirin on an empty stomach.

His secretary, Dora Samudio, said the judge had grown tired from packing all day after having received only two days’ notice of the original swearing-in ceremony. She said Sessions had wanted two weeks’ notice to prepare for the event.


In contrast to the controversy over the Supreme Court nomination of Robert H. Bork, Sessions was confirmed late last month by a 90-0 Senate vote after less than five minutes of speeches on the Senate floor.

Sessions’ oath of office this week was to have climaxed a nearly seven-month search and confirmation process for a successor to William H. Webster, who left the FBI last March to become director of the Central Intelligence Agency.