"Thousands of Bay Area homeowners are fighting in court to save their homes from a foreclosure system rife with mistakes, mismanagement and even fraud, a joint investigation by the Center for Investigative Reporting and NBC Bay Area has found. Stephen Stock reports." Read the full investigation by CIR and NBC Bay Area here.
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Extra Extra : Fraud
"A highly paid psychiatrist working in state mental health hospitals engaged in a pattern of false billing claims while collecting more than $430,000 in payments beyond his base salary over three years, according to investigative documents obtained by the Star Tribune." Read the Star Tribune's full investigation here.
Extra Extra Monday: Ethics of legislature, immigrant justice, tired drivers, campus sexual assault cases
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Ethics and the Legislature: Money, secrets, power rule dome
On the floor and in the committee rooms, you can identify the most powerful lawmakers simply by checking their fundraising and lobbying totals. The cost of access to a legislator rises as he does: being promoted to chair a key committee doubles his campaign contributions and lobbyist gifts.
How Many People Have Been Killed by Guns Since Newtown?
"The answer to the simple question in that headline is surprisingly hard to come by. So Slate and the Twitter feed @GunDeaths are collecting data for our crowdsourced interactive ...
“Reuters first reported in late February of last year that the SEC had spent millions of dollars hiring Booz Allen consultants to help streamline the agency, leading some agency insiders to question whether the SEC was getting its money's worth.”
The Seattle Times
Glamour Beasts: The Dark Side of Elephant Captivity
“Zoos' efforts to preserve and propagate elephants have largely failed, both in Seattle and nationally. The infant-mortality rate for elephants in zoos is almost triple the rate in the wild.”
Food and Environment Reporting Network
Fracking our food supply
“In Pennsylvania, the oil and gas industry is already on a tear—drilling thousands of feet into ancient seabeds, then repeatedly fracturing (or “fracking”) these wells with millions of gallons of highly pressurized, chemically laced water, which shatters the surrounding shale and releases fossil fuels. New York, meanwhile, is on ...
When San Bernardino filed for bankruptcy in August, the mayor blamed the city council and the police and fire unions. The unions blamed the mayor. Yet on close examination, the city’s decades-long journey from prosperous, middle-class community to bankrupt, crime-ridden, foreclosure-blighted basket case is straightforward—and alarmingly similar to the path travelled by municipalities around America’s largest state. A Reuters investigation of city data found San Bernardino succumbed to a vicious circle of self-interests among city workers, local politicians and state pension overseers. Little by little, the salaries and retirement benefits of city workers—and especially its police ...Read more ...
“At a time when coal prices were at record highs, Vectren locked into expensive, multiyear agreements to buy almost all of its coal supply from its own wholly-owned mining subsidiary, Vectren Fuels. And ratepayers paid the price. Experts say Vectren disregarded the common industry practice of staggering its coal purchases through shorter-term contracts to hedge against unusually high prices.”
Welcome to IRE's roundup of the weekend’s many enterprise stories from around the country. We’ll highlight the document digging, field work and data analysis that made their way into centerpieces in print, broadcast and online from coast to coast. Coverage this week was dominated by the election, but there was some watchdog coverage to be found in other areas. In preview of the election, we've got a roundup of some of the data-driven work that's been done this campaign season.
Did we miss some? Let us know. Send us an email at email@example.com ...Read more ...
Investigative reporter Jennifer Loren of the Oklahoma Impact Team at KWTV News 9 in Oklahoma City and KOTV News on 6 in Tulsa, Okla., found rampant fraud in the Lifeline “free cell phone” program in Oklahoma. Loren found little oversight of the federal program, and showed how companies are flocking to Oklahoma because much of the state is eligible to receive an extra subsidy because of its history as former tribal land. Loren was able to obtain a phone without proving she was eligible, in violation of the program’s rules.
"Investigative reporter A.J. Lagoe, with WRIC TV8 in Richmond, Va, uncovers widespread fraud in Virginia’s court-appointed attorney system. Criminal defendants are lying about their assets in order to qualify for a free lawyer and all too often getting away with it thanks to a loophole in Virginia law."