Senator Majority Leader Robert C. Boyd warned the Carter administration yesterday, that if Clarence M. Kelley is fired as head of the FBI without just cause, confirmation of his successor will be delayed.
If President Carter were to "fire Mr. Kelly today without cause, then his successor would not be called up in the Senate in the immediate future," the West Virginia Democrat told reporters.
Byrd said he interested in adhering to a 1975 law that limits the FBI director to one 10-year term. Byrd, who sponsored the proposal, said it was written to guard against politicizing the office.
If there are reason to fire Mr. Kelley or to despose him or to dispose of him or replace him, certainly he should be replaced," the senator said.
"But I'm interested in the integrity of the law, I don't believe the FBI director should he summarily replaced simply because of a new incoming administration," he added.
Kelley has expressed a desire to remain with the FBI until January to assist in a transition occurring because hundreds of agents are retiring. His pension benefits would also be larger if he remain that long.
But the President has expressed a desire to replace the FBI chief. Kelley is heading a scarch committee Atty. Gen. Griffin B. Bell established last week to choose a new director.
Kelley, an appointee of former President Richard M. Nixon, was [TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE]