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U.S. Attorney Dennis C. Vacco won't have to wait up all night on Nov. 8 to make sure he still has his job. Following a voice-vote confir mation in the U.S. Senate Friday night, Vacco now is only one sig nature away from a full four-year term as U.S. Attorney for Western New York. That signature, by fel low Republican Ronald Reagan, remains only a formality.

Two weeks ago, Vacco didn't know how long his tenure would last. Vacco became interim U.S. at torney June 13 under a 120-day appointment by U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese III. Later that month, Reagan nominated Vacco for a full four-year term. But with the looming presiden tial election, political experts spec ulated that the Senate Judiciary Committee might sit on the nomi nation, in case the Democrats re captured the White House and wanted to name their own U.S. attorney. On Oct. 5, the Judiciary Com mittee voted to recommend Vacco to the full Senate, which approved the nomination Friday night. Two weeks ago, the Judiciary Committee recommended only three of eight U.S. attorney nomi nees, and only 11 of about 25 fed eral judicial nominees, to the full Senate. "To be honest with you, (the Judiciary Committee vote) was a real surprise, and indeed I am a lot more relaxed than I was two weeks ago," Vacco said today. In the middle of all the Senate votes, Vacco's 120-day appoint ment expired last Tuesday. Four days before that, U.S. District Judges John T. Curtin, Richard J. Arcara, Michael A. Telesca and David G. Larimer signed an order naming Vacco as the court-ap pointed U.S. attorney. That order was filed in time for Vacco to stay in office last week. "I was in the curious position of being the attorney general's ap pointee, awaiting confirmation by the Senate as the presidential ap pointee, and serving as the court- appointed U.S. attorney," Vacco said. Today he expressed thanks to U.S. Sens. Alfonse M. D'Amato and Daniel Patrick Moynihan, along with the Senate Judiciary Committee, which features such heavyweights as Edward M. Ken nedy, Howard M. Metzenbaum and Joseph R. Biden Jr.

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