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Extra Extra Monday: Banks' lies to homeowners, police photo-ID troves and the offshore leaks database

Bank of America Lied to Homeowners and Rewarded Foreclosures, Former Employees Say | ProPublica
Bank of America employees regularly lied to homeowners seeking loan modifications, denied their applications for made-up reasons, and were rewarded for sending homeowners to foreclosure, according to sworn statements by former bank employees.

ICIJ Releases Offshore Leaks Database Revealing Names Behind Secret Companies, Trusts | ICIJ
Readers can search information about the ownership of more than 100,000 offshore entities in tax havens and discover the networks around them.

County commissioner voted for contracts tied to wife's law firm | The Star Tribune
Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin has repeatedly voted for multimillion-dollar trash-disposal agreements tied to the law firm where his wife works — and never disclosed the connection. Minnesota law says that officials taking action on a matter that would “substantially affect the official’s financial interests or those of an associated business” must submit a written statement describing the nature of the potential conflict of interest to a superior. But the regulations don’t offer many specifics, and omit detailed guidance in the case of a spouse’s relationship. “Our statute is very weak,” said Gary Goldsmith, executive director of the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.

State photo-ID databases become troves for police | The Washington Post
The faces of more than 120 million people are in searchable photo databases that state officials assembled to prevent driver’s-license fraud but that increasingly are used by police to identify suspects, accomplices and even innocent bystanders in a wide range of criminal investigations.

Businessman in prison alleges ‘shakedown’ by Swallow, Shurtleff | Salt Lake Tribune
Jailed businessman says Swallow offered to use influence to aid Mount Holly project in exchange for cabin.

With no ride to school, African-American and poor children disproportionately hit in traffic in urban districts | Akron Beacon Journal
In Ohio, African-American children and those from lower-income families are far more likely to be hit by cars than white children in the suburbs, according to a Beacon Journal analysis, and the reason is simple: The state has created inequality in transportation to school.

Delays Hamper State’s Doctor Discipline Process | C-Hit
In Connecticut, it can take two years or longer for complaints against physicians to result in license suspensions, revocations and other disciplinary actions by the state Medical Examining Board, working with the DPH. A review of disciplinary decisions in the past 18 months shows that the medical board rarely acts within a year of an incident occurring – and sometimes the process takes as long as four years, with physicians still practicing freely in the interim.

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