- The Washington Times - Monday, July 30, 2001

D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey said yesterday that there's a 50-50 chance the case of missing intern Chandra Levy will never be solved, and that he plans to scale back the investigation this week.
Appearing yesterday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Chief Ramsey said that the 50 or so recruits who have been combing Rock Creek Park will return to the classroom to resume training at the end of the week, but that the two lead detectives on the case will continue investigating along with the FBI.
"It has been 90 days, and we aren't any closer to finding her today than we were 90 days ago, " the chief said. He defended his department against critics who say the focus on Levy is taking officers from other investigations.
"I can certainly understand how that perception could be there, with this intense media coverage. It looks as if the only thing the Metropolitan Police Department is working is the Chandra Levy case, and that simply is not the case, " he said.
Chief Ramsey said investigators continue to sort through information provided by Rep. Gary A. Condit, California Democrat, during a fourth interview last week with police and the FBI. Mr. Condit, 53, reportedly acknowledged during his third interview with authorities having a relationship with Miss Levy, 24, who was last seen nearly three months ago.
The chief said he is not certain there will be a fifth interview with Mr. Condit. He said detectives have spoken with Mr. Condit's staff, and they're still trying to verify timelines for Mr. Condit and others around the time Miss Levy is thought to have disappeared.
He said he has no plans to ask Carolyn Condit, the congressman's wife, to take a lie-detector test and could not confirm reports that Mrs. Condit and Miss Levy may have had a heated discussion on the phone.
"We don't know if it did or didn't [happen], but certainly Mrs. Condit does not say that she had any such conversation, " Chief Ramsey said. He said the issue never came up during a police interview with Mrs. Condit earlier this month.
A former staff member of Mr. Condit's offered some insight into the Condits' marriage to Time magazine. Joleen Argentini McKay said Mr. and Mrs. Condit "didn't have the typical relationship."
"It was more of a business relationship, " she said. The former staffer says she had an affair with the congressman in the mid-1990s but was urged by Mr. Condit's chief of staff, Michael Dayton, not to disclose it to the FBI.
Chief Ramsey continued to emphasize that there are no suspects and there is no evidence of a crime, but said neither Mr. Condit nor anyone else could be cleared .
Later on the program, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert evaded questions about Mr. Condit's ethics. Asked whether Mr. Condit should be removed from the Intelligence Committee because he is vulnerable to blackmail, Mr. Hastert said that would have to be decided by Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt.
"I would think that probably Mr. Gephardt is thinking seriously about that right now, " he said.

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