LAT investigator moves

Bill Rempel has been a lead investigative reporter for the Times on the international arms market and projects such as the Troopergate stories during the Bill Clinton years. He's shifting onto the national desk as an editor, taking a slot that some figured would go to Istanbul-based investigative reporter (and friend of Managing Editor Dean Baquet) Doug Frantz. Details on the Rempel job are in the staff announcement below.

Separately: At his blog, retired Times reporter Ken Reich criticizes the paper's editors for slow coverage of the local traffic impacts of the recent storms. In the course of a La Conchita-inspired mea culpa about his own reporting on geologic hazards, he also encourages the Times to be tougher in coverage of Californians' denial of looming threats such as earthquakes. In that post he complains about the editing on a piece of his about earthquake risks. I know nothing about the specifics of that story, but any editor at the Times will tell you that Reich was a reporter whose stories required considerable editing effort. Some writers' work does, some doesn't.

To: The Staff
From: Scott Kraft, National Editor

I'm delighted to announce that Bill Rempel, a former national correspondent and one of the paper's premier investigative reporters, will move onto the National desk as an editor with broad new responsibilities.

In his new role, Bill will work with Deb Nelson, the Washington investigative editor, and her award-winning team of reporters. He'll also work with other Washington editors and reporters on enterprise pieces. And he'll work with national correspondents as well. Bill's experience makes him an ideal choice for this new role.

Bill came to The Times in 1973, as a writer on the Suburban staff. He was a national correspondent in Chicago from 1980-84, an investigative reporter for the financial staff from 1984-88 and has been a national correspondent and investigative reporter on National since then.

He's won numerous awards for his reporting and has appeared frequently on television news shows, including ABC's Nightline, NBC's Today and CNN programs. He is the author of "Delusions of a Dictator", based on the secret diaries of former Philippine dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos.

His body of work includes Foreign as well as National investigative stories on some of the biggest stories of the past few decades. The investigation into the Challenger disaster. The legal battles after the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Campaign fundraising irregularities. The first World Trade Center bombing. The crash of TWA Flight 800. Since 9/11, he's also been part of terrorism reporting teams that have won citations from the Overseas Press Club and the Kennedy School at Harvard.

Bill is best known around the paper as the reporter who, with Doug Frantz, produced the first major newspaper story on "Troopergate," which quoted Arkansas state troopers as saying they had helped Bill Clinton, while governor, hide his indiscretions.

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