A top aide to President Bush has been cleared of allegations that he might have violated federal ethics laws in connection with a $5,000 loan he got from a fraud-ridden Baltimore brokerage company, according to informed sources. The investigation of James W. Cicconi, who got the loan in 1984 while an aide in the Reagan White House, was conducted by an independent counsel secretly appointed by a special federal court last spring under the provisions of the Ethics in Government Act. The independent counsel, former U.S. attorney Dan K. Webb of Chicago, concluded in a report submitted last week there were no grounds for prosecuting Cicconi. Sources close to Cicconi said the report "exonerated" him. Cicconi, 37, is in charge of the flow of paper to Bush and his scheduling. A lawyer, he also serves as an adviser to the president. He worked in the Reagan White House as an aide to then-White House Chief of Staff James A. Baker III. The investigation focused on a $5,000 loan Cicconi got in September 1984 when he was about to leave the Reagan White House for private legal practice in Austin, Tex. Sources said Cicconi needed the money in a hurry for moving expenses and mentioned this to a White House colleague, Catalina Vasquez Villalpondo, because he was closing out his bank accounts. Villalpondo, who has been nominated by Bush to be treasurer of the United States, contacted a branch executive of a Wall street investment company. This executive helped arrange for the loan from the First American Mortage Co. (FAMCO) of Baltimore at 10 percent interest, repayable in 90 days but with an option to renew. The company was founded and operated by FAMCO chairman Michael H. Clott, who is serving a 12 1/2-year prison term for racketeering, interstate transportation of stolen securities and mail fraud. Clott, who pleaded guilty in two cases in 1987, swindled nearly 300 investors of at least $15.7 million by brokering high-risk mortgage packages through FAMCO to investors nationwide. Clott later told investigators that Ted Mueller, the Wall street intermediary, told FAMCO officials to make it a "sham loan" and to expect it would not be paid back, presumably in order to curry favor at the White House. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh asked for appointment of an independent counsel last May 5, sources said. Reportedly helping to fuel the inquiry was the fact that Cicconi asked FAMCO to send the proceeds of the loan to him at the White House. Sources said, however, that Mueller denied Clott's account; there was in any case no direct allegation or evidence against Cicconi. Cicconi reportedly told investigators that he had the loan proceeds sent to him at the White House only because he was in the process of moving to Austin and no longer had a local home address. The Texas job fell through and Cicconi joined a Washington law firm in February 1985, after renewing the loan for a year. FAMCO filed for bankruptcy in November 1985. Cicconi joined the Bush White House staff this year after a campaign stint last fall with Vice President Quayle. Webb reportedly suggests in a footnote that Cicconi may have concluded he would never have to pay back the loan when it became known that FAMCO was in deep trouble, but sources said the footnote concludes that there was no evidence to support that theory. Cicconi repaid the loan with interest to FAMCO's trustee last month, the sources said.