Resource Center


The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364573-882-3364  or where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "fail" ...

  • Dental Drama

    For nearly five years, the Texas Medicaid and Healthcare Partnership (TMHP), a subsidiary of Xerox, allowed workers with limited expertise to approve dental claims for Texas’ Medicaid program, the joint state-federal insurer of poor children. State spending on orthodontic services spiraled out of control: Between 2003 and 2010, Texas Medicaid payments for orthodontic services grew by more than 3,000 percent — from $6.5 million to $220.5 million — while program enrollment only grew 33 percent. Our investigation found that three years later, the state’s aggressive campaign to recover misspent Medicaid dollars had failed to prove any dental providers intentionally committed fraud. Meanwhile, the state maintained its contract with TMHP, and continued to pay the company between $168 and $185 million annually to continue processing certain Texas Medicaid claims.

    Tags: dental; insurance; xerox; texas; medicaid

    By Becca Aaronson

    Texas Tribune


  • Fatal Leak

    After four DuPont workers were killed in a plant accident in La Porte, the Chronicle put its investigative team in charge of the follow-up. The reporters quickly discovered that the company failed to respond properly to the accident and had put its workers at risk by not providing necessary safety equipment. Further investigation revealed another DuPont worker's brush with death and illustrated how DuPont's safety record had slipped in recent years.

    Tags: plant; dupont; accident; death

    By Lise Olsen; Mark Collette; Karen Chen; Matthew Tresaugue; Anita Hassan; Craig Hlavaty; Mike Morris; St. John Barned-Smith; Michelle Iracheta; Marie D. De Jesus

    Houston Chronicle


  • USAT: Unfit for Flight

    "Unfit for Flight" reveals the hidden dangers of private aviation by exposing how manufacturers let defective parts and designs remain in place for decades, federal investigators fail to find defects because they do cursory crash investigations, and federal regulators let manufacturers build brand-new aircraft under safety standards that are decades old. The series exposes manufacturer negligence that has led companies to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in legal settlements, many of them confidential and reported for the first time.

    Tags: aviation; safety; regulations; plane; flight; defects; standards; manufacturers

    By Thomas Frank; Contributors Terry Byrne; Morgan Fecto; Leigh Giangreco; Shannon Green; Mark Hannan; John Hillkirk; Kelly Jordan; John Kelly; Lauren Kirkwood; Tim Loehrke; Allison Wrabel

    USA Today


  • Campus Insecurity

    An investigation by the Columbus Dispatch and Student Press Law Center exposed that many universities across the nation are under-reporting violent crimes that occur on campus, using secret judicial review boards to often hand out soft punishments for serious crimes and are violating the rights of both the victims and accused in a system that ignores due process. The deception begins with the name: Campus Security. Most campuses are anything but secure. And worse, administrators have cloaked their campus crime rates and poor response to them in secrecy — failing to take some complaints seriously, shunting what should be criminal cases into closed-door campus judicial hearings handled by untrained faculty and students, and refusing public records about the cases or stalling when asked for them.

    Tags: universities; violent; crimes; under; reporting

    By Collin Binkley; Sara Gregory; Jill Riepenhoff; Mike Wagner

    The Columbus Dispatch


  • Terrance Carter

    In the summer of 2014, Terrence P. Carter, a highly regarded “school-turnaround” administrator from the Chicago-based Academy for Urban School Leadership, was hailed by public officials and the local press in New London, Connecticut, as an innovator who could revive that city’s failing school system. After a national search, the school board in June voted unanimously to hire him as its new superintendent, effective Aug. 1. In early July the local newspaper, the Day of New London, reported that when Carter toured the city, he was welcomed with praise such as a pronouncement by the mayor that he was “the right fit at the right time for New London." But everything changed on July 18, when the Courant published an investigative story on its website documenting a pattern in which Carter had repeatedly claimed to have a doctorate, and referred to himself as “Dr.” or “Ph.D” for more than five years, without actually holding such a degree.

    Tags: doctorate; false; credentials; superintendent; school

    By Jon Lender

    The Hartford Courant


  • CA Investigation: Family custody battle exposes flaws in child protection system

    As four children slept, their parents were murdered in an adjacent room of their Memphis home in April, launching a controversial custody dispute that remains pending on appeal. The child welfare worker and the guardian ad litem either didn't conduct thorough investigations of those seeking custody of the children or they failed to brief the magistrate during a hearing that was rushed to an end. The story provides a rare look at how quickly child custody disputes can be decided in dependency and neglect cases, which by state law are closed to the public and media. The newspaper also exposed exclusions in the state's Sex Offender Registry laws that allow offenders, even those classified as "violent," to live in homes with children if the offender's victim was an adult.

    Tags: child custody; sex offender; murder; offender registry; children

    By Beth Warren

    The Commercial Appeal


  • Special education students failed by state

    The Hechinger Report teamed up with The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion Ledger to investigate the many ways in which Mississippi fails its special education students. The Clarion Ledger’s Emily Le Coz spent months uncovering cases where special education students had been denied basic education rights guaranteed under federal law and instances of seclusion and restraint. The Hechinger Report's Jackie Mader and Sarah Butrymowicz investigated what happened to these students when they left high school. The majority of special education students in Mississippi leave school with an alternative diploma or certificate. Many Mississippi students who should be able to earn a regular diploma are counseled on to the alternative track by 8th grade. Many of those students didn't know that few community colleges, and no four-year universities, will accept students who have earned an alternative diploma or certificate.

    Tags: special needs; education; high school; diploma; special education

    By Emily LeCoz; Clarion Ledger; Jackie Mader; Sarah Butrymowicz

    The Hechinger Report



    FOX31 Denver reviewed safety inspections for more than 150 railroad bridges in Colorado and found about one-quarter flunked their latest safety inspection or were deteriorating toward what inspectors call “structurally deficient.” The investigation uncovered one failed rail road bridge which had been struck at least 38 times by heavy trucks and semis - without a single repair.

    Tags: railroad; bridges; safety; inspection; trucks;

    By Chris Halsne; Isaias Medina

    KDVR - Fox 31 (Denver, CO)


  • The Business of Dying

    Today, about half of older Americans receive hospice care before dying, and many consider it a godsend. But since hospices were launched in the ‘70s by pioneering community groups, for-profit companies have surged into the $17 billion field, and quality has slipped. For-profit hospices spend less on nursing and are less likely to offer critical care to patients. Government inspections, scheduled every six years, failed to ensure care for some of the nation’s frailest people. Tens of thousands of patients, most of them elderly and frail, were dying without seeing a nurse in their last days.

    Tags: hospice; for-profit; nurses; government inspections

    By Peter Whoriskey; Dan Keating; Darla Cameron; Cristina Rivero; Shelly Tan

    The Washington Post


  • Fatally Flawed

    A five-part series by The Charlotte Observer revealed that the officials assigned to investigate suspicious deaths routinely fail to follow crucial steps, raising questions about the accuracy of thousands of rulings. The effects of a botched investigation on surviving family members can be devastating. Killers can go free. Widows can be cheated out of the life insurance payments they deserve. In some cases, reporters found, grieving relatives were forced to launch their own inquiries into how a loved one died. Compiling the report wasn’t easy. Observer reporters first requested the state’s database of suspicious deaths in early 2012. For 18 months, the state stalled and provided incomplete data. In the summer of 2013, the Observer threatened legal action. Only then did the N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner turn over its complete database.

    Tags: chief medical examiner; bureaucracy; investigations; suspicious deaths

    By Ames Alexander; Gavin Off; Fred Clasen-Kelly; Elizabeth Leland; Jim Walser; Doug Miller; Tony Lone Fight; Kathy Sheldon; Dee-Dee Strickland; David Puckett; Rob Adams; Stephanie Swanson; Eric Edwards; Diedra Laird; John Simmons; Todd Sumlin; Ortega Gaines;

    The Charlotte Observer