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SAN FRANCISCO �� Interim U.S. Attorney Scott N. Schools said he plans to “pursue vigorously” the stock options backdating investigations in the Northern California District but declined to indicate whether to expect more criminal indictments. In his first meeting with reporters since his February appointment as temporary replacement for fired former U.S. Attorney Kevin V. Ryan, Schools said, “I want to work closely with the SEC to pursue stock options cases.” He also indicated the office’s gang strike force will be aggressive in its prosecution of gang violence, including the potential for seeking the death penalty in some instances. Schools, a former federal prosecutor in South Carolina, has personally prosecuted two death penalty cases in 2004, according to a Justice Department statement. He served as former general counsel in the Executive Office of the U.S. Attorneys in Washington, D.C. Schools, 45, said he considers his tenure temporary and is not in the running for the permanent appointment to the top prosecutor job. Schools inherited a 95-lawyer office that was riven with dissention and saw a significant number of career prosecutors leave under Ryan’s tenure.

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