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 "Broward County" ...

  • Janitor Paid $100,000 to Travel

    This series exposed the outrageous hiring practices at the nation's sixth largest school district, casting a light on a system in which janitors and copy clerks were paid huge salaries as teachers- but barely set foot in the classroom. Ultimately, the reporting effort saved taxpayers $1 million, led to pay cuts for 59 employees, and resulted in stricter oversight of the Broward County School District.
  • Sick District

    This series of investigations of Broward County's tax-assisted public health care system revealed mismanagement, conflicts of interest, health law violations, and millions of wasted taxpayers' dollars. As a result of these investigations, the city saved millions and ordered the district to institute a new system.
  • District bets on sports medicine

    North Broward County Hospital District hired three new physicians as team doctors, clinicians who work with regular patients and as medical directors of a new sports medicine institute. The three doctors will receive $16.5 million over nine years, much higher salaries than most orthopedic surgeons in the Southeast receive. Other physicians and critics say this is unfair because the district never looked into other options which may have been cheaper for taxpayers, such as seeking competitive bids. They believe this deal may have "more to do with politics than with medicine."
  • The Honor System

    Three-part investigation into the Broward County judicial system. "Judges are supposed to be elected by the voters," the article begins. "But politics and a system that gives incumbents life and death power over potential challengers help to shut out the people." While the Florida constitution demands judges be elected, more than half of Broward's 65 judges "first were appointed to their jobs." And when elections did take place, "judges up for reelection ran unopposed 129 out of 138 times" over the last 10 years. More troubling, it seems nobody is keeping an eye on them. The committee assigned to oversee Broward judges has only filed 14 complaints since 1970 (e.g. one judge drew a pistol in a crowded courtroom). Says one defense attorney: "Where else do you find a job like this? Nowhere. They're untouchable, and it's frightening." The series investigates who the judges are, where their campaign financing comes from, and who is influential in picking them. Issues of diversity (or lack of it) on the bench are also discussed. Short profiles on each judge and each member of the nominating committee are included. Also included is a list of campaign contributions from lawyers.
  • Spotlight on False Confessions

    The Miami Herald found that at least 38 murder confessions were thrown out in Broward County courts by judges, juries, police or prosecutors. Suspects were jailed for confessions that incorrectly stated basic facts of a crime. Confessions were taken from suspects who asked for attorneys or asked to remain silent. Detectives forced confessions out of people under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Broward County detectives also took confessions from the mentally disabled, from minors, and from the homeless.
  • Flawed Homes, Even Now

    On the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew, The Miami Herald took a look at the state of new home construction in South Florida. "We found many improvements compared to 1992, but also a major flaw in suburban Broward County's system of enforcement. Unlike Miami-Dade County, Broward had no mechanism for enforcing new rules requiring new homes to withstand 140-mph gusts.
  • A case for innocence

    Miami Herald investigates a possible wrongful conviction dating back to 1993. The series reveal that Timothy Brown, a mentally ill teenager convicted for the murder of a police officer, might have been wrongly imprisoned. The reporters find evidence that his confession appears to have been coerced, and expose a pattern of false confessions in Broward County, Fla. Part of the series also reports on the capture of another suspect, Andrew Johnson, who has confessed to the murder on tape. To obtain some of the documents needed for the investigation, the newspaper initiated a public-records lawsuit against the sheriff's office.
  • Beyond Shelter

    Governing reports on Broward County's efforts to combat its homeless problem. The homeless were living in a tent city across the street from Fort Lauderdale City Hall. Now they're living in "Homeless Assistance Centers," which offer job and life skills instead of just a place to stay for the night. Though the program is geared towards long-term solutions, critics say that certain kinds of homeless people -- the disabled, the mentally ill -- are not able to live with the restrictions of the centers.
  • Friends of the Court

    A Miami Herald investigation of the Broward County legal system revealed that county judges only hire a select group of private lawyers to represent poor people who can't afford their own attorneys. "Unlike other South Florida courts that evenly spread the work to a large pool of qualified lawyers, Broward judges maintain absolute discretion over who gets appointed when the public defender's office can't represent a defendant because of a conflict." The Herald discovered that judges often select their friends or election contributors to be public defenders.
  • (Untitled)

    ABC News 20/20 report examines a nation-wide trend of locking elderly citizens in private psychiatric hospitals. The story reveals a world where the due process of law promised in the Constitution is suspended. (Jan. 26, 1996)