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 "St. Louis" ...

  • STLPR: McKee's broken promises

    Nearly a decade after Paul McKee sold St. Louis on a vision worth billions to rehab more than 150 properties on the city’s north side, roofs have caved, walls have crumbled and residents have lost patience — and hope. This story looks at how this happened, what the implications are and who is impacted.
  • Luxuries on public dime

    Based on public financial records obtained through an FOI request, a Belleville News-Democrat investigation found that more than $230,000 was spent on a taxpayer-supported American Express card over four years used by East St. Louis Township Supervisor Oliver Hamilton. He used the card to buy construction materials, take Las Vegas trips, purchase gas for his private vehicle, and buy dinners and gifts for political friends. Hamilton pleaded guilty to federal charges for misusing public funds.
  • The Color of Debt

    The heart of our main story 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.
  • 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/
  • Municipal Court Abuses

    Many municipal courts in St. Louis County, particularly in struggling areas, have become major sources of revenue for their cities. As these towns came to rely more on traffic fines and court fees to fund their operations, people on the bottom income rungs found themselves buried in debt to the courts and facing arrest when they didn't show up for hearings because they couldn't pay. At the same time, the courts corrupted the points system designed to keep bad drivers off the road by turning moving violations into "illegal parking in a park" -- for a fee.
  • The Injustice System: Cops, Courts and Greedy Politicians

    Our primary entry is an hour-long, commercial free documentary that exposes the role police, municipal courts and politicians play in a revenue-driven system of law enforcement in St. Louis County. KMOV’s investigation was sparked by issues revealed following the protests and riots in Ferguson, MO. News 4 Investigates repeatedly documented the abuses that are prompting major reforms in local police departments and courts. The documentary is part of a major ongoing investigation that includes more than 40 stories revealing misconduct, incompetence, racism and greed in policing and the courts. KMOV’s investigation prompted the Bellefontaine Neighbors police department to end its ticket quota system. It also forced the resignation of a judge, the termination of a police officer, and following our report on the Bellefontaine Neighbors PD, city officials met with representatives from the United States Department of Justice for a series of community meetings focusing on policing practices. Our stories were played during those meetings. KMOV’s reports were also played by state senators during sessions of the Missouri state legislature and cited as part of the evidence documenting the need for reform.
  • Rogue Debt Collector Unmasked

    News 4 Investigative reporter Chris Nagus confronts the man behind a debt collection scheme targeting people across St. Louis. Harassing phone calls, threatening letters and unwanted visits from a phony business but it’s unclear whether the people actually own any debt. Chris Nagus confronted the man behind the bogus business and learns this phony debt collector was using the St. Louis Prosecutor’s office to get payment.
  • Exposing Missouri's Secret Execution Drug Source

    For the past several months, St. Louis Public Radio's Chris McDaniel and Véronique LaCapra have been investigating Missouri's execution process and the legal and ethical questions around how the state is obtaining its execution drug. Since most drug manufacturers don’t want their products used for lethal injection, Missouri has had to go to great lengths to find a supply. In October, our reporting uncovered that the state had turned to an unauthorized distributor. Then, at the direction of Missouri’s Governor, the Department of Corrections switched to a different execution drug. But they didn’t stop there – they also changed the rules to make it illegal to reveal the source of the drug. After at least a dozen open records requests and numerous interviews with pharmacy experts, our investigation has revealed that the state is obtaining its drug from an Oklahoma compounding pharmacy that isn’t licensed in Missouri. Under normal circumstances, that could be a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison. Our reporting has led lawyers representing Missouri’s death row inmates to file a complaint with the Missouri Board of Pharmacy, demanding they stop the state from illegal importation of its execution drug. And several state lawmakers have called for an appointed commission to investigate the Department of Corrections, and for executions to be put on hold while the General Assembly looks into the issue.
  • 43 years, 20 properties

    According to the St. Louis County Assessor’s Office, Webster University owns 20 taxable properties in Webster Groves — 11 of which are on a street adjacent to the university. As distrust between residents and the university has grown, the reporting done by myself and a colleague provided accurate and contextual information among the rumors and hyperbole.
  • Hosed!

    “Hosed” was an investigation on a controversial water services contract proposed between the City of St. Louis and the multinational French corporation Veolia. There were several concerns here, especially given that the deal was done very quietly. The first concern was that the contract was gained through political cronyism, second that the main goal of the contract was a secret plan to privatize city water, and third that as a result of the contract, the city water division would be slashed to bare bones both in terms of staff and safety standards. The latter concern was raised based on the reputation of Veolia in other markets.