"How," I am constantly asked, "can we prevent something unreal like what is going on in Washington from happening again?"

A simple solution. Every time a person is selected for a high government position, he must be sworn in with his own special prosecutor. The special prosecutor will remain at his side the entire time the person serves, becoming part of the family.The special prosecutor will have the right to subpoena witnesses, tap phones and investigate the sex life of anyone acquainted with the appointee or his family.

Let's say Willington is sworn in as the president's adviser on baldness. His special prosecutor will immediately call a grand jury to hear witnesses testify against him.

The way he will do this is to offer immunity to anyone who has anything bad to say about the president's adviser. The feather in the prosecutor's hat will be if his investigation leads to misconduct in the Oval Office.

Let's say the special prosecutor digs up information taped by a disgruntled administration employee concerning Willington's offer to invite a White House intern to accept a plane ride and lodging from the Nissan Motor Co. for the Winter Olympics. This leads the prosecutor to discover Willington once had a one-night stand in Sun Valley with a figure skater from the women's Olympic team.

The prosecutor subpoenas the skater to testify about the affair and produce gifts exchanged with the official .

The prosecutor offers the skater a pardon if she declines to take the Fifth. Her lawyer says no unless she gets a job in Paris.

That is just a hypothetical situation. Many special prosecutors who hang out with appointees will still be unable to dig up anything that would send someone to jail. It isn't necessary for an SP to produce a conviction when assigned to prosecute someone - but if he comes up with nothing, his chances of an interview with Barbara Walters are nil.

One special prosecutor who got nothing recently could be seen standing in front of the White House handing subpoenas to anyone who walked out of the gate.

He knew he was playing a long shot, but that is what special prosecuting is all about.

Los Angeles Times Syndicate