- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 3, 2001

Attorney General John Ashcroft yesterday named William B. Simpkins to serve as acting administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, replacing outgoing Director Donnie R. Marshall, who retired.
"I look forward to working with William as we continue in our efforts to help protect America's children from drugs," Mr. Ashcroft said in a statement.
"I also want to thank Donnie Marshall for his outstanding leadership at the DEA. He has been a public servant of the highest caliber. I truly appreciate his efforts and thank him for his service to our country," he said.
Mr. Simpkins, a veteran of the DEA, is currently the agency's deputy administrator. He will take charge of the DEA until Rep. Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas Republican, is confirmed by the Senate.
Mr. Hutchinson, nominated in May by President Bush, helped the former Texas governor win Arkansas in the 2000 presidential election.
He also served as a House manager during President Clinton's impeachment trial in the Senate.
His involvement in the 2000 campaign and his role as a House manager during the impeachment are both expected to be raised during confirmation hearings, as yet unscheduled. The Senate is now controlled by Democrats.
Mr. Hutchinson, a three-term congressman, is a former federal prosecutor who has actively been involved in DEA issues as a member of the House Judiciary subcommittee on crime.
In 1997, he joined with DEA officials on a fact-finding mission to Colombia to review joint U.S.-Colombian anti-drug operations.
Mr. Marshall is the first DEA agent ever to rise through the ranks to lead the agency. In a memo to agents, he confirmed that he had been asked by the Bush administration to step down after 32 years with the DEA.
In the memo, Mr. Marshall praised the "dedicated, talented and courageous men and women" of the DEA and said their efforts had made a "dramatic impact" on drug organizations around the world.
He also encouraged the agents to "maintain their faith in our mission," adding that his appointment as administrator had been the "highest honor I could ever hope to achieve."

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