Stories

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

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Search results for "Alabama Media Group" ...

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Investigation of a Community Health Center

    With an infusion of $11 billion, the 1,300 community health centers across the U.S. have been hailed as the backbone of the Affordable Care Act’s plan to leave no one without health care. That’s a lot of money to accomplish a lot of good. It’s also a lot of money to tempt those with larcenous intent. Two years ago, Alabama Media Group discovered that two community health centers -- Birmingham Health Care and Central Alabama Comprehensive Health -- had paid more than $2 million for contracts to companies owned by the centers’ CEO. Now there are indictments and allegations of $14 million in federal funds being diverted to private hands.
  • Revenge Beatdown

    These stories document perjury, assault, false arrest and cover-up by a reckless cadre of SWAT officers. The first news story on the conspiracy and revenge beating ran in January, 2014. In February, Alabama Media Group reported in detail on the unsolved execution linked to the beating. This was followed by several incremental stories throughout the year. The reporting culminated in a seven-part series in December, telling the story of the revenge beatdown and the conspiracy from the point of view of two honest police officers who attempted to investigate their own.