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US Senate Panel Won't Confirm US Broadcasting Board Chairman

The U.S. Senate will not act on President Bush's re-nomination of the head of the agency that oversees the Voice of America and several other international broadcasting entities.

Spokesman for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Andy Fisher says the panel will not begin the confirmation process for Kenneth Tomlinson, who is chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors. Tomlinson is accused of abusing his office.

While Tomlinson - a political appointee - can remain in office until later this year, his future beyond that is not clear. He is a Republican with close ties to the White House.

U. S. State Department investigators say Tomlinson used his government office for personal business and improperly awarded a $250,000 contract to a friend.

One of the complaints in the report is that Tomlinson used government resources to perform tasks related to his stable of thoroughbred horses. Investigators have said that a criminal probe into the matter is not warranted, but that a civil investigation into the awarding of the contract will be pursued.

Tomlinson has dismissed the allegations, blaming them on what he called partisan divisions inside the broadcasting board.

Three Democratic members of Congress who called for the investigation last year sent President Bush a letter Tuesday demanding that Tomlinson be removed from his position.

A White House spokeswoman said the president continues to support Mr. Tomlinson's re-nomination.

Tomlinson resigned from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting last year after another inquiry found he violated rules meant to insulate public television and radio from political influence. The corporation helps fund public television and radio in the United States.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.