DA's office to lose top investigator to Kolender
Former local FBI chief to be an assistant sheriff

By Alex Roth and Mark Arner

February 7, 2004

Bill Gore, the former chief of the FBI's San Diego office, is joining the Sheriff's Department as a top administrator, leaving his post as head investigator for District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.

The announcement comes a year after Gore, previously one of the FBI's highest-ranking officers, joined Dumanis' staff as a special adviser and chief of investigations. It also comes two years before Sheriff Bill Kolender's third term in office expires.

Gore, 56, will become a top adviser to Kolender. A sheriff's spokesman dismissed speculation that Kolender, 68, has any plans to leave his job any time soon.

"He's assuring everybody he has absolutely no intention of retiring before his term is up," spokesman Chris Saunders said. The sheriff will decide "when the time is right" whether to run for a fourth term, Saunders said.

Gore is filling a vacancy created by the pending retirement of Kolender's second in command, Undersheriff Jack Drown, 57, who has held the post since 1995. Assistant Sheriff Barry Zuniga will replace Drown, and Gore will become an assistant sheriff under Kolender and Zuniga.

The move is the latest chapter in a long and distinguished career for Gore, who spent 33 years in the FBI, eventually becoming one of 10 assistant directors under then-Director Louis Freeh in 1994.

He took over the San Diego office in 1997 and was in charge during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, an event that thrust his office into the national spotlight because two of the hijackers lived in San Diego County. Some members of Congress raised questions about how the office handled the investigation.

Gore said yesterday that he had been talking about the job change with Kolender for several months and was taking the position with Dumanis' blessing.

Kolender's spokesman said details were still being worked out about when Gore would assume his new post.

Alex Roth: (619) 542-4558; alex.roth@uniontrib.com

Arner: (619) 542-4556; mark.arner@uniontrib.com

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