Governor Schwarzenegger is asking a federal prosecutor to probe the 2002 Folsom State Prison riot.
The request comes two weeks after witnesses told state senators that prison officials helped trigger the gang fight and then covered up their mishandling of the riot and its aftermath.
The U.S. attorney whose jurisdiction includes Sacramento and neighboring Folsom says he will consult with other agencies before deciding whether to conduct an investigation. A spokeswoman said there is no timetable for a decision.
The administration says Schwarzenegger´s call for a federal probe of the Folsom riot is “unprecedented” in California. The U.S. attorney has powers such as federal civil rights laws that aren´t available to state or county prosecutors.