Former Utah legislator C. McClain Haddow thinks he has made some headway in his effort to persuade the Justice Department to drop its plan to sue him and his wife, Alice, for $234,860.

"But it's difficult to tell" what the Justice Department will actually do, Haddow said Monday.Haddow met to discuss the suit last month with David W. Long, an attorney in Justice's civil division, and the department has asked him to submit in writing his objections to the suit by June 17.

Haddow, 37, recently finished serving a four-month prison term for engaging in conflicts of interest as a federal health official. He is in the process of reviving his health-care consulting business here.

Haddow was notified in February that the department intended to file suit against him and Mrs. Haddow.