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AGRICULTURE OFFICIAL WAS DIRECTOR FOR 7 YEARS OF A FAILED S&L

Agriculture Secretary Edward Madigan served seven years as a director of a savings and loan seized by federal regulators and sold at a cost of more than $111 million to taxpayers, a newspaper reported Saturday.

Madigan, a former Illinois congressman, was on the board of Olympic Federal Savings Association from September 1983 until June 1990, the Chicago Tribune said.Meanwhile, The New York Times reported Saturday that federal officials were investigating whether Madigan and Olympic's other directors were negligent in managing the thrift, which was based in suburban Berwyn.

The investigation is a standard in S&L failures, The Times reported.

Olympic was seized by federal regulators in December 1990. Pieces of the thrift were sold Friday by the Resolution Trust Corp. to 12 other institutions. Regulators say its failure will cost taxpayers more than $111 million.

Madigan "has not been alerted to any investigation," spokesman Roger D. Runningen said.

Runningen added that Madigan was told an audit of Olympic last year by the Office of Thrift Supervision found no evidence of bad decisions by directors.