- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 4, 2001

The FBI yesterday announced a major reorganization at its Washington headquarters, shifting key agents to field offices throughout the country in a plan aimed at strengthening the bureau's ability to combat terrorism.

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said the reorganization, which serves as the starting point for a massive overhaul of the bureau's priorities and missions in the coming months, is the first step in what will be a "phased process of reorganizing assets, modernizing and integrating new technology, and consolidating functions."

"This reorganization, the need for which is widely accepted within the FBI community, is consistent with the recommendations from several studies and inquiries, and recognizes new challenges and responsibilities," Mr. Mueller said. "Among other things, it seeks to increase the emphasis in counterterrorism, counterintelligence, cyber-crimes, and relations with state and local law enforcement.

"It also seeks to provide the vehicle for a vastly enhanced information technology upgrade, expanded training for the FBI work force at all levels, improved security, and improved capabilities for FBI investigators, analysts, forensic examiners, and other specialists," he said.

The major elements of the first phase of the reorganization effort include the creation of four new executive assistant director positions to oversee key FBI functions. The positions and their designated heads are:

•Ruben Garcia Jr., who will be the executive assistant director for criminal investigations. Mr. Garcia is a 23-year FBI veteran who was formerly the assistant director of the FBI's criminal investigative division.

•Dale L. Watson, who becomes executive assistant director for counterterrorism/counterintelligence. Mr. Watson is currently the assistant director for the counterterrorism division. In 1996, he was named the deputy chief of the CIA's counterterrorist center at CIA headquarters.

•Kathleen L. McChesney, who will serve as executive assistant director for law enforcement services. Also a 23-year FBI veteran, she is currently the assistant director of the FBI training division and has headed the FBI field offices in Portland, Ore., and Chicago.

•Robert J. Chiaradio, who becomes executive assistant director for administration. He served as chief of staff for Mr. Mueller and has been an agent since 1984. He previously supervised the FBI's Tampa, Fla., field office.

Although the reorganization plan calls for a deputy director at FBI headquarters, Mr. Mueller said he will not name anyone to the post, currently held by Tom Pickard, who is retiring at the end of the year.

"I need to be fully engaged in the day-to-day running of the bureau," he told reporters in announcing the reorganization plan.

Mr. Mueller said FBI divisions and offices will realign under one of the four executive assistant directors who will report to the director. He said the reorganization "effectively narrows the supervisory span of control and will greatly increase efficiency, accountability and oversight."

Two new divisions have also been created to increase the greater emphasis on computer-facilitated crimes and security, the director said.

The cyber-crime division will address intellectual property investigations, as well as high-tech and computer crimes. The security division will be responsible for ensuring the integrity of FBI employees, contractors, visitors, information systems and facilities.

A part of the reorganization also includes the opening of four new offices: law enforcement coordination for improving FBI dealings with state and local law enforcement and information sharing; a chief technology officer charged with the implementation of critical information technology projects; an office of records management, whose function is the modernization of FBI records; and the intelligence office, charged with enhancing analytical and intelligence capabilities.

Mr. Mueller said the FBI's investigative services division will be disbanded as a result of the reorganization and its responsibilities and assets integrated into current or newly created components as appropriate.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide