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 "State agency" ...

  • WSAW: A Dying Wish

    After receiving a letter from a woman who was found dead, WSAW-TV's investigative reporter uncovered loopholes regarding the creation of churches, all while discovering small mistakes made by a county, a state agency and a federal agency allowing a church, some trustees call fake, to exist.
  • The Dallas Morning News: Atmos

    A Dallas Morning News investigation showing how more than two dozen homes across North and Central Texas have blown up since 2006 because of leaking natural gas along lines owned and operated by Atmos Energy Corp. Nine people died in these explosions; at least 22 others were badly injured. The News' investigation also showed how the state agency that is supposed to regulate gas companies in Texas frequently let Atmos Energy off the hook, even in explosions that killed people.
  • Sobriety for Sale

    As a heroin/opioid epidemic gripped Washington State, KING 5’s investigative team uncovered corruption at a series of state-licensed drug and alcohol treatment clinics. “Sobriety for Sale” revealed the secret payments that left addicts untreated, courts misled, and the public at risk. The series also exposed shoddy oversight by the little known state agency that is supposed to be the watchdog over Washington’s 570 licensed treatment clinics.
  • Home Sweet Hustle

    For 15 years, the Portland nonprofit Give Us This Day occupied a unique place among foster-care agencies in the state of Oregon. Its four group homes served the most troubled, challenging kids in the state—children who had been sexually abused, starved, beaten and abandoned. It was the state’s only African-American-run foster care agency, a distinction that made it especially valuable to the state agency that manages housing for foster children, the Oregon Department of Human Services. The executive director of Give Us This Day, Mary Holden, was lauded as a human-rights champion. Give Us This Day was also unique in how leniently it was regulated by state officials. The state turned a blind eye to more than 1,000 police reports at foster homes run by Give Us This Day. It regularly paid large cash advances to the provider—something no other foster-care agency requested so regularly. And the Department of Human Services ignored years of allegations that Give Us This Day neglected children.
  • State of Neglect

    A 30 minute KVUE Defenders investigation uncovered a dramatic rise in abuse inside Texas nursing homes and a state agency allowing it to happen. While facilities receive millions from taxpayers, investigative reporter Andy Pierrotti found regulations hamstring the state's ability to hold nursing homes accountable for continued neglect. The investigation also exposed thousands of medication errors, including nursing homes over-prescribing antipsychotic drugs more than any other state, increasing patients’ risk of death. https://vimeo.com/130982371
  • Elder Abuse Unreported

    This KXAN investigation uncovered allegations of sexual assault at Longhorn Village, a retirement community and assisted living center created by the University of Texas Alumni group, Texas Exes. They found that despite having evidence abuse and neglect occurred, the state agency that regulates and investigates assisted living facilities found no wrong doing. Their analysis of abuse investigations data showed the vast majority of abuse and neglect cases in assisted living facilities were “unsubstantiated” by state investigators.
  • Shift in Supervision

    he Tennessee Department of Correction researched and created a new supervision policy for the state in 2014 that drastically reduced supervision for some and increased supervision for others. WJHL's investigation revealed that change left some criminals, even convicted murderers, with limited face-to-face contact with their probation and parole officers. Instead, some of those people now could report using an automated phone reporting system. A local district attorney and state representative said not only did they think the changes were a bad idea, they wished the state would have asked for their input or at the least, let them know the changes were on the way. TDOC maintained based on research and other state models this change would improve public safety. However, leaders from the state agency did acknowledge, when pressed, they could have done a better job of communicating the changes. In the days after the first story aired, as a direct result, TDOC's commissioner sent letters to the district attorney and state representative and told them he would be wanted to clear up their concerns directly.
  • In Need of Care

    The series has shed light on the fact that the state agency charged with protecting children, the Kansas Department for Children and Families, often fails to do so. Reports often are screened out or unsubstantiated. In the case of "The Girl in the Basement," there were more than two dozen previous reports of abuse and neglect, including by mandatory reporters such as teachers and nurses, that appear to be all but overlooked before police removed the girl from her home.
  • Chris Christie, White House Ambitions and the Abuse of Power

    Chris Christie, White House Ambitions and the Abuse of Power is a series of reports on the exercise of power by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his administration. The stories investigate his administration’s use of the busiest bridge in the world to take political revenge on a small-town mayor; the operation of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for the political and financial benefit of his administration and his friends and donors; and the use of federal Sandy aid to strong arm the mayor of Hoboken. These reports focused national attention on a leading Republican candidate in the 2016 presidential race. Plus, they established the narrative both for national and local coverage and for state and federal investigations of the administration. Most important, WNYC uncovered key information about the politicization of public entities by an elected official whose appeal to voters is based on the perception that he is above politics. Our submission for review by the IRE includes our most significant work on this story. Our reporting resulted in the forced resignation of Gov. Christie’s top man at the Port Authority, a bi-state agency that controls $8 billion in annual revenue raised largely from tolls and fares paid by commuters of this region. In addition, WNYC’s in-depth reports on the Port Authority prompted criminal investigations by the Manhattan District Attorney and the Securities and Exchange Commission into the misuse of Port Authority funds. It led the United States Attorney for New Jersey to widen its investigation into conflicts of interest by David Samson, the Port Authority Chair, and a close Christie ally. And the reporting has spurred the creation of a bi-state panel to reform the Port Authority, as well as reform measures in the New Jersey and New York Legislatures.
  • Sex Offender Program

    The stories spotlighted a little-known state agency and civil commitment program that purported to be a treatment program for convicted sex offenders, revealing questionable and abusive practices and raising questions about its constitutionality. In addition to uncovering the details of questionable contracts, the stories revealed a systemic and ongoing failure by state officials to conduct the civil commitment program in accordance with state law, best practices, and its overall constitutionality. Unlike civil commitment programs in other states, Texas’ program effectively operated as an additional criminal punishment for some of society’s least sympathetic offenders, forcing them into a purported treatment and educational program no one has successfully completed in its 15-year history. The stories have sparked a nearly completed housecleaning of the Office of Violent Sex Offender Management leadership and plans for a revamp of the entire program. The state district judge who oversees most of the court cases involving the civil commitment program also is the subject of an investigation by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. In addition to a series of investigations and a state audit underway, legislators have called for an overhaul of the program and may revisit the original authorizing law.