Coleman can keep office until Feb. 4, senators say

  • Updated: January 15, 2009 - 10:49 PM

WASHINGTON - Democratic and Republican leaders agreed Thursday to reopen Norm Coleman's U.S. Senate offices until Feb. 4 to archive and transfer case files on constituent services.

The agreement, approved unanimously by the Senate, falls short of the Minnesota Republican's request to keep his office open another 60 days in order to finish up about 400 constituent requests for service. Under the four-page Senate resolution, Coleman's caseload must be transferred to other Minnesota representatives instead.

For Coleman staffers who have been barred from their offices, it was still a partial victory.

"The passage of the resolution will allow staff to work closely with members of the Minnesota congressional delegation to ensure constituents' urgent matters are addressed," said Coleman spokesman LeRoy Coleman.

Many of the files are expected to go to Democrat Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota's sole U.S. senator. Her spokesman, Linden Zakula, said her office has already seen an increase in the number of constituent requests for help.

Coleman's offices in Washington and St. Paul were ordered closed on Jan. 5 after the Minnesota Canvassing Board recount showed Coleman 225 votes behind DFL challenger Al Franken.

KEVIN DIAZ

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