Times coverage of the Civic Center figures to pick up in February. Editors today posted the lineup for the newly re-created unit that will cover local government and politics, and it's a stronger team. New reporters will focus on the mayor and LAPD, there's an investigative unit and digger Jeff Rabin has been assigned to look into land use and development. The advantage of a large bureau (there are nine reporters) is they can easily mix and match as needed.
LA Observed reported in November that Jim Newton would be the bureau chief and Bill Nottingham the editor. Jean Merl, who covered City Hall in a previous incarnation of the bureau, joins as an editor. Newton, who broke a lot of City Hall stories when Richard Riordan was mayor, will be a lead reporter on the mayor's office along with Duke Helfand, recently an education writer. Steve Hymon will be the main guy on the City Council. Patrick McGreevy moves over to emphasize coverage of LAPD chief Bill Bratton, Parker Center and City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo. (Richard Fausset is leaving City Hall for Atlanta, and Jessica Garrison began this week at the civil courts after returning from maternity leave.)
County coverage will continue with Noam Levey and Jack Leonard at the Hall of Administration and Stuart Pfeifer reporting on the Sheriff's department. The investigative team of Scott Glover and Matt Lait has been together several years. They have good law enforcement sources and most recently have been reporting on the Bruce Lisker case. Rabin is a longtime government reporter who knows where a lot of stories are buried and likes to dig around in campaign contribution and ethics filings (so watch out.)
Today's staff memo follows from Assistant Managing Editor Janet Clayton, who was deputy chief of this bureau when it existed in the 1980s under Bill Boyarsky. He retired from the Times and is now a city ethics commissioner.
To: The staff From: Janet Clayton, Assistant Managing Editor
As previously announced, Metro is re-establishing the City-County Bureau that will concentrate our coverage of city and county government beats and will be responsible for delivering lively, intelligent and aggressive stories about local leaders and institutions. I am proud of the deeply knowledgeable and versatile lineup we've assembled for this essential coverage, and I'm delighted to say we're now ready to go, beginning Feb. 6.
Staffing and primary assignments for the bureau will be as follows:
Jim Newton--Bureau chief and writer
Bill Nottingham and Jean Merl--Editors
Duke Helfand--Mayor and agencies
Steve Hymon--Los Angeles City Council and agencies
Patrick McGreevy---Los Angeles Police Department administration/City Attorney's Office
Jennifer Oldham---LAX and Regional Air Transportation
Noam Levey and Jack Leonard--County supervisors and agencies
Stuart Pfeifer--Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department administration
City and County:
Scott Glover and Matt Lait--Investigations
Jeff Rabin--Land use and development