Inquiry Target Kim Wants Leaks About His Case Probed

<i> From a Times Staff Writer</i>

Rep. Jay C. Kim, the subject of a federal inquiry into possible campaign finance irregularities, has asked the agencies investigating him to find out how details of his case are leaking to the news media.

Kim (R-Diamond Bar) sent letters on Thursday to Atty. Gen. Janet Reno and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, calling on the Justice Department to track down how confidential documents were removed from his offices.

Resolutely silent during the last three years about the ongoing investigation of his 1992 campaign finances, Kim has taken the rare step of scheduling a news conference today to discuss his latest move.


The investigation began in 1993 after the Los Angeles Times reported allegations of misuse of funds by Kim’s first congressional campaign committee in 1992, including using resources from Kim’s former engineering company to finance the campaign.

Korean Air Lines and Hyundai Corp. officials recently admitted to funneling $9,000 to Kim’s campaign through employees.

Through spokesmen, Kim has maintained his innocence, contending that he did not know some of the campaign contributions were illegal, and offered to cooperate with investigators.

But as he begins his second reelection campaign, the investigation has begun to take its toll and Kim apparently has decided to publicly fight back.

The letters by Kim to the federal agencies follow a published report of a confidential memo from Kim’s attorney, Ted Duffy, to Kim and his wife, June, detailing the possible extent of the federal investigation.

While time has run out on investigators to file misdemeanor charges against Kim related to his 1992 campaign (the statue of limitation is three years) general felonies have a five-year limit. There also is the possibility that the investigation might include Kim’s 1994 reelection campaign, further extending the time in which authorities could file charges.

“He’s operating under a shadow,” Duffy said of his client. “It’s very difficult for a congressman to raise money and campaign and be an effective spokesman for his district when he’s under investigation.”