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ProPublica Hires Jack Leonard as Senior Editor

ProPublica announced Thursday that it has hired Jack Leonard as a senior editor. Leonard comes to us from the Los Angeles Times, where he has worked for more than 26 years as a reporter and editor, most recently as senior editor of investigations.

As the Times’ justice editor from 2014 until 2018, he oversaw an investigative series on the lack of transparency surrounding police officer discipline in California, then the most secretive state in the country. In response, California lawmakers changed state law, requiring police to publicly disclose records of dishonesty, sexual assault and use of significant force. Leonard was an editor on a 2018 investigation that exposed decades of complaints against a campus gynecologist at the University of Southern California. The story, which won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting, resulted in the resignation of the university’s president, the prosecution of the doctor and a $1.1 billion legal settlement between USC and hundreds of women who accused him of inappropriate touching, harassment and other misconduct.

For the last five years, Leonard has led a team of eight investigative reporters and an editor. He ran investigations that exposed criminal conduct by a prominent animal rights activist; deadly delays in providing specialist care to the Los Angeles region’s safety net health care system; sexual misconduct in the nation’s largest four-year public university system; and corruption, government failures and violence following California’s legalization of cannabis. During that time, stories by the team were honored twice as Pulitzer finalists and won two Loeb Awards, gold in the Barlett and Steele Awards, two National Press Club Awards, and other major national and regional prizes.

“We could not be more thrilled that Jack is joining us,” said ProPublica Managing Editor Tracy Weber. “He’s guided a glittering array of top-notch investigations and comes to us with a passion for ProPublica’s sweet spot — deeply reported accountability journalism that gets impact.”

“I love ProPublica’s singular focus on pushing for impact by exposing abuses and betrayals of the public trust,” said Leonard. “I can’t wait to start helping with that mission.” He lives with his wife in Long Beach, California.

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