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 "Chicago" ...

  • Walking into Danger

    Every other day on average in Chicago, a stranger tries to lure or force a child younger than 16 into a vehicle or building for an illegal purpose. An examination of the 530 most-recent cases revealed legal breakdowns that allowed the vast majority of the predators to avoid prison time or intensive sex offender treatment.
  • Exposing Waste, Fraud And Corruption

    The Better Government Association is a nonpartisan, nonprofit government watchdog that's been around for more than 90 years exposing waste, fraud and corruption in Chicago and throughout Illinois. The Illinois Freedom of Information Act is a key component of our work, not only for our investigations team, which regularly enlists FOIA to access and analyze public records, but also for the BGA's legal and policy units.
  • Investigating Police Misconduct

    In 2015, the Better Government Association continued to make police accountability and criminal justice one of the primary focuses of its investigative journalism. We raised questions about whether cases involving law enforcement officers were handled fairly and took a broader look at the cost of police misconduct. We also compared Chicago police shooting statistics to other departments across the country and found a troubling trend among our police force.
  • College of DuPage investigation

    The Chicago Tribune’s investigation of the College of DuPage – accomplished despite court orders and deception -- exposed egregious spending by top officials, exclusive contracts to insiders and ethical violations at the state’s largest community college, prompting criminal investigations, a new state law, and the college being put on probation by its accrediting agency. This entry includes 10 stories and a supplemental file that contains the accreditation agency letter citing our reports, Tribune follow-up stories showing results of our work, another publication’s article about our investigation and lawsuit, and a sample of the overwhelming response we have received.
  • Chicago Public Schools' Fuzzy Math

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has bragged about the Chicago Public Schools graduation rate improving. But records show his numbers are inflated. Is CPS cooking the books? The Better Government Association investigates the graduation rate, and other claims made by the Emanuel administration about public education improvements in the city, and finds that the math doesn't always add up.
  • Valerie Jarrett Works To Close Tax Loophole – While Benefitting From It

    Top Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett was tasked with helping the president kill a controversial income tax perk used by the “wealthy and well-connected.” But a Better Government Association investigation uncovered Jarrett made a killing on a Chicago real estate deal by enlisting this very same benefit.
  • Color of Debt

    The heart of our main story this year was a first-of-its-kind analysis of debt collection lawsuits. Crunching data from five years of court judgments from three metropolitan areas — St. Louis, Chicago and Newark — we found that, even controlling for income, the rate of judgments was twice as high in mostly black neighborhoods as it was in mostly white ones. This finding was drawn out through in-depth reporting on the ground in St. Louis. We focused on one neighborhood, Jennings, a mostly black suburb that borders Ferguson in north St. Louis County, to illustrate the impact. https://projects.propublica.org/garnishments/
  • Chicago mayor's miracle graduation rates inflated

    As Mayor Rahm Emanuel ran for a second term, one of his main talking points was that during his first term graduation rates at the city's high schools shot up by 10 percent. But the rates he touted were inflated. The Better Government Association and WBEZ-Chicago Public Radio found that thousands of dropouts were wrongly labeled as transfers. Because of these reports, Emanuel and his school leaders were forced to revise down the graduation rates.
  • Understaffed and Underserved

    "Understaffed and Underserved: A Look Inside America’s Nursing Homes" exposed staffing discrepancies, racial disparities and billions of dollars in questionable HUD-backed mortgages granted to facilities across the country, revealing the intersection of nursing home companies’ profit-driven practices with weak governmental oversight that all too often leads to devastating, and even fatal, consequences for some of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens. The project generated widespread media pickup, resulted in the filing of federal legislation, the GAO saying it would investigate the five-star rating system and contributed to federal policy change by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Advocates throughout the nation used data from the project to advocate for legislative change, while a law professor had her students do field testing for a potential civil rights law suit and plans to request HUD Secretary Julian Castro to initiate a complaint against a Chicago-area nursing home chain.
  • NBC5 INVESTIGATES: OFF THEIR GUARD

    After a pregnant college student was sexually assaulted on Chicago’s south side, NBC5 Investigates began looking into the background of the suspect, and discovered he was supposed to be on juvenile electronic monitoring for a past arrest. Over the next several days, Phil Rogers continued to uncover serious flaws in Cook County’s system for monitoring juvenile offenders. By the end of the week – and a direct result of Rogers’ week-long reporting – the county completely reformed its system to – finally -- provide true 24-hour monitoring for juvenile offenders.