Here's another body blow for our hometown paper -- Virginia Ellis, the Times' Sacramento bureau chief, is retiring. She'd been planning to leave last year but, when asked to please work a bit longer, agreed. Eighteen months later, she's done. Here's the update from the Capitol Weekly:
Ellis is perhaps best known for her work investigating former insurance commissioner Chuck Quackenbush in a string of stories that helped bring the Republican insurance commish down. In a memo to the Times newsroom sent by Metro Editor David Louter, he wrote, “The Quackenbush story, for which Virginia won both the Selden Ring and the George Polk award, exemplified the best of Virginia’s work - keen investigative instincts in the service of dedicated beat reporting.” Ellis’ departure leaves a hole at the top of the state’s largest, and most well-respected Capitol bureau.
I had the honor -- and I don't use that word lightly -- to work with Virginia when I was still at LA Now. She always found an unexpected way to tell a story, added depth and humor to (and removed errors from) my Sacramento posts and, being Virginia, made it seem like it was all my own idea in the first place.
--Veronique de Turenne