Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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

Search results for "Alabama" ...

  • Unchecked Power

    After losing hard-fought reelection campaigns, Alabama’s sheriffs often turn their attention to undermining their successors in ways that abuse the public trust. On his way out the door, one sheriff drilled holes in government-issued cell phones, while another pocketed public money intended to feed inmates. The ousted leaders dumped jail food down the drain and burned through tens of thousands of sheriff's office dollars by purchasing thousands of rolls of toilet paper. These are among the findings of my six-month investigation into these practices for AL.com and the ProPublica Local Reporting Network. In June 2019, I chronicled the actions of nine defeated Alabama sheriffs, seven of whom allegedly destroyed public property, stole public funds and/or wasted taxpayer money after their electoral defeats. These stories were made possible by my realization that incoming sheriffs were often more willing to talk on the record about the bad behavior and criminality of predecessors who had taken advantage of them than they would be under other circumstances.
  • inewsource: Hustling Hope

    inewsource spent months investigating how a California lawyer built a national network of Trina Health clinics to perform what he calls a “miraculous” treatment for reversing the complications of diabetes, even though medical experts consider it a scam that harms patients. Senior healthcare reporter Cheryl Clark tells the story of a couple in rural Montana who invested their life savings into opening their own clinic, in part so the husband could get the treatments locally for his diabetes. Less than two years later, the clinic was shuttered as health insurers refused to pay for the treatment and its founder came under federal investigation. He pleaded guilty in January 2019 to public corruption charges related to his Trina Health operation in Alabama.
  • CBS: AmeriCorps Misconduct

    This CBS News Radio investigation probes allegations of widespread misconduct at the federally-funded AmeriCorps program. Part of the investigation details extensive sexual harassment allegations against the grandson of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, Stephen Black, an Alabama attorney and founder of AmeriCorps grant recipient Impact Alabama. The report triggered Impact America to severe ties with Black, and the University of Alabama to launch a Title IX investigation before firing him as an instructor. It relied heavily on public records from FOIA requests, along with interviews with current and former Impact Alabama and AmeriCorp volunteers, lawmakers, and federal oversight officials.
  • Alabama Media Group: Dirty Business

    In 2017, federal prosecutors charged Balch & Bingham lawyer Joel Gilbert and Drummond vice president David Roberson with bribing state Rep. Oliver Robinson to help them fight the EPA. However, as Whitmire revealed, their astroturfing scheme went much further, involving public officials from a school superintendent to U.S. senators. When Whitmire requested records from the Alabama Attorney General's Office showing Luther Strange's role in the scheme, the office denied those records existed. Whitmire proved, not once but twice, that officials there were lying, and that Strange had put his name on Gilbert's work product to persuade the EPA not to help poor residents in north Birmingham clean their soil of toxins. Further, Whitmire showed a small local school district had agreed to help resist the EPA, too, denying EPA access to test schoolyards for toxins.
  • AL.com: Doctor Sexual Misconduct

    Alabama’s doctor discipline system forgives sexually abusive doctors and allows them to continue practicing, often without alerting the public to their misconduct. This series examined how the system protects doctors, and it provided the public with an easy-to-search database of doctor discipline records.
  • Alabama's "Beach House Sheriff"

    Over the past decade, Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin has turned the jail he operates in rural Alabama into a vehicle for his own enrichment. In 2018, AL.com investigative reporter Connor Sheets single-handedly exposed the pattern of exploitation and cost-cutting behind Entrekin’s financial success. This investigation revealed extensive wrongdoing by Entrekin, from improperly pocketing millions of dollars worth of public funds and mistreating inmates in his jail to spending public money on campaign ads and allegedly having sex with underage girls.
  • Alabama's "Beach House Sheriff"

    Over the past decade, Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin has turned the jail he operates in rural Alabama into a vehicle for his own enrichment. In 2018, AL.com investigative reporter Connor Sheets single-handedly exposed the pattern of exploitation and cost-cutting behind Entrekin’s financial success. This investigation revealed extensive wrongdoing by Entrekin, from improperly pocketing millions of dollars worth of public funds and mistreating inmates in his jail to spending public money on campaign ads and allegedly having sex with underage girls.
  • Testing the Waters

    "Testing the Waters" is a two-part investigation into concerns of lead contamination in local drinking water on the Alabama Gulf Coast. After an extensive analysis of public records, FOX10 News Investigates found eight water systems across Mobile and Baldwin counties have had testing results above the legal limit for lead content in the last three years. Further, FOX10 News found local public schools were not previously testing for lead content, so we requested to test for them. As a result of our investigation, both Mobile and Baldwin County Public Schools started testing some of its older schools that could be at risk. Moreover, during the course of our investigation, the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) has announced it will help test all public schools over the next three years.
  • Coal Uncovered

    "Coal Uncovered" is a two-part local news investigation into the coal handling industry on the Mobile River, and its effects on the citizens living in downtown Mobile, Ala. Folks living in the area worry their health is at risk due to the consistent build-up of what appears to be coal dust on their homes. FOX10 News hired an independent laboratory to test dust samples taken from five locations across downtown, to see if coal dust was indeed the culprit. The test results revealed every sample contained significant percentages of coal dust, validating the concerns of the residential community. Further, this investigation exposes a caught-on-camera phone call made by a tax-dollar paid coal industry leader, allowing FOX10 News to inform the public about what really goes on behind industry lines. This investigation exposes the effects of a powerful industry in Mobile, of which residents and school children are withstanding every day. It holds tax-dollar funded agencies accountable, and gives a voice to the people of downtown Mobile, whose complaints and concerns have long been ignored.
  • City of Brighton enters new year with old investigation

    This story is a summary of months of reporting on an investigation into allegations of voter fraud. It presents never before heard comments from the local district attorney and Alabama Secretary of State. The district attorney announced an investigation on Aug. 19, 2016 after 80 applications for absentee ballots requested ballots be mailed to then-mayoral candidate Brandon Dean. Dean won the election with 52 percent of the vote, and 99 of 107 of the absentee ballots cast in his favor. The reporter's investigation shows that at least three absentee ballots cast were tired to vacant homes.