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" ...

  • Data Center Dud

    This report uncovered the story behind a $1 billion data-center proposal at Rowan University in New Jersey that officials rejected before the public learned of it. The Rowan project failed in 2011, and the reasons why later became relevant in Delaware, where the state's largest university was weighing a nearly identical plan from the same developers -- complete with a 279-megawatt, gas-fired power plant, and backed by top Delaware politicians and $7.5 million in public funds.

    Tags: center; power; plant; new jersey; developers

    By Melissa Nann Burke

    The News Journal (Delaware)


  • Stolen Wages

    In the last eight years both the Washington Legislature and the Seattle City Council passed laws to address wage theft, which happens when employers withhold wages or deny benefits rightfully owed to an employee. It’s a misdemeanor under city and state law. And yet in hundreds of cases annually, InvestigateWest learned, Washington fails to retrieve workers’ shorted wages. Meanwhile, the city ordinance has yet to bring about even a single prosecution of employers who withhold pay. The Washington Department of Labor & Industries has sped up wage complaint investigations over the past several years, yet four in 10 cases take longer than the legally mandated 60 days. And the department collects less than $6 out of every $10 it says workers are owed, an analysis of state records by InvestigateWest found. These shortfalls reported by InvestigateWest threaten to undermine a flagship achievement of worker advocates and Seattle city leadership: the new $15-an-hour city minimum wage that will begin to go into effect this year.

    Tags: wages; workers; misdemeanor; benefits; theft

    By Allegra Abramo; Jason Alcorn; Robert McClure



  • Loaded with Lead: How gun ranges poison workers and shooters

    Roberto Sanchez suffered silently while racked with chronic pain. James Maddox quietly endured failing health. Manny Romo privately bore guilt for inadvertently exposing his children to an unseen peril. For decades, the stories of victims like these had gone untold until The Seattle Times’ “Loaded with Lead” series exposed a hidden danger pervading one of America’s most popular and growing pastimes. This series, the first of its kind, found that America’s gun ranges put workers, shooters and their family members at risk from an insidious poison: lead. “Loaded with Lead” laid bare how outdated industry safety standards, reckless shooting-range owners and lax regulation have contributed to hundreds of lead-poisoning cases nationwide. In an unprecedented analysis, our reporters discovered that regulators have only inspected 201 of America’s 6,000 commercial gun ranges, about 3 percent, in the past decade.

    Tags: gun; range; employee; safety; poison

    By Christine Willmsen; Lewis Kamb; Justin Mayo

    The Seattle Times


  • Chicago police failing to register sex offenders

    These stories detail the Chicago Police Departments systematic failure to register sex offenders. The offenders trying to follow the law are turned away from police headquarters. The department refuses to register them because they don’t have enough staff to handle the volume of offenders. The offenders are then vulnerable to arrest for ‘failure to register.’ The arresting agency is the Chicago police department, the agency responsible for their failure to register.

    Tags: sexual; rape; police; failure; register

    By Robert Wildeboer; Cate Cahan

    WBEZ Radio (Chicago)


  • Dying at Opp

    "Dying at OPP" examined how the troubled Orleans Parish Prison, Louisiana’s largest lockup for pre-trial suspects, handled inmate deaths. The series exposed institutional failings and indifference that persist despite the jail being under a court order mandating widespread reforms. After the series, the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office, which operates the jail, called in outside law enforcement agencies to investigate the latest inmate fatality -- only the second time in at least a decade that an outside law enforcement was called in to review a jail death. The series also led to major policy changes at the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office. Our series exposed a lack of autopsies when inmates died at a hospital after becoming ill or injured in jail. The coroner now requires his pathologists conduct autopsies in those cases.

    Tags: inmates; pre; trial; reform; sheriff

    By Richard A. Webster; Naomi Martin; Chris Granger; Callaghan O’Hare; Dan Swenson; Ginny LaRoe; Tim Morris; Mark Lorando Times-Picayune


  • The PermaDerm ™ Cultured Skin Substitute Scandal – FDA shuts down study, failed clinical research and DoD contract/grant fraud?

    A handful of insiders work to get FDA approval of a cultured skin substitute for burn patients, even though the clinical study was shut down by the FDA. Since the study data was unusable, PermaDerm(tm) was entered into a DoD regenerative medicine program. Grants and a contract help fund the research except two ineligible patients were used in the applications. This story has flown under the radar until now.

    Tags: skin; substitute; medicine; patient

    By Sandra Frost


  • Oil Train Safety Put At Risk

    Oregon Public Broadcasting's investigation into worker complaints about BNSF Railway's documents how the company has prioritized speed and profits over safety, with a history of retaliating against workers who report accidents, injuries and safety concerns. Railroad safety has come under public scrutiny now that trains are hauling millions of gallons of oil across North America. In the Northwest, BNSF carries the vast majority of the especially combustible Bakken crude from North Dakota and neighboring states. The railroad now moves nearly 20 oil trains per week through the Columbia River Gorge. Worker fatigue is a major contributor to these dangers on the rails. As they uncovered, irregular work schedules and sleep disorders are a well-known contributor to train derailments, and yet, the industry has failed to make the adjustments that have been identified as ways to reduce the risk of crashes and derailments.

    Tags: worker; safety; infrastructure; accidents; injury

    By David Steves

    Oregon Public Broadcasting


  • 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