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 "Suffolk" ...

  • An Innocent Man?

    Newsday’s multi-media investigation “An Innocent Man?” was the first to reveal widespread wrongdoing by Suffolk law-enforcement authorities in the 1975 Keith Bush murder conviction, one of the longest-running “innocent man” cases in U.S. history. In a year-long investigation, Newsday reporter Thomas Maier detailed: how police allegedly beat a false confession out of then-17-year-old Bush for the 1975 sex-related murder of schoolmate Sherese Watson; how forensic experts offered flawed evidence about Bush’s guilt and later lost the alleged murder weapon; how the prosecution’s main witness against Bush later recanted and said she made up all of her testimony; how DNA evidence pointing to Bush’s innocence was rejected; and, mostly significantly, how Bush’s trial prosecutor covered-up evidence of another potential suspect, John W. Jones Jr., who placed himself at the murder scene. That evidence about Jones remained a secret and Bush was convicted and sent to prison for 33 years. Newsday’s investigation began in June 2018 and the resulting 15,000-word print report and an accompanying documentary were published together in May 2019. Shortly afterward, a report by the current Suffolk County district attorney concluded that Bush had been wrongly convicted and a judge vacated his sentence – 44 years later. Several follow-ups by Newsday detailed reaction to the Bush case and were reflected in an updated documentary, written by Maier and edited by Newsday owner Patrick Dolan, which was posted on December 31, 2019. Maier’s painstaking work – which involved dozens of interviews and thousands of pages of legal documents – shed light on a tragic incident in the past and helped result in other similar cases receiving a thorough investigation.
  • Lifting the lid on Long Island's courts

    Gus Garcia-Roberts and Will Van Sant dug out the hidden details of a fraud and drug investigation or Robert Macedonio, one of Suffolk County's most influential and flamboyant lawyers, that revealed allegations of serious corruption within the district attorney's office and kicked off a year-long effort by Newsday's investigative team to expose secrecy, cronyism and strong evidence of high-level criminality in the operation of the criminal-justice system.
  • The Seventh Precinct vs. Jack Franqui

    Before Newsday published a two-part investigation exposing the disturbing circumstances surrounding Jack Franqui’s death, the public had been told little about his suicide in a holding cell of the Suffolk County Police Department’s Seventh Precinct on Jan. 23, 2013. And what the public had been told was false.
  • Prostitution Crackdown

    News 12 reporters rode along with the Suffolk police officers on an undercover prostitution bust.
  • Public Land, Private Profits

    A Newsday investigation of Suffolk County's nationally acclaimed land preservation program revealed that county officials gave priority status to land sellers with strong political connections, "paying them top dollar for parcels that sometimes weren't in danger of being developed, or had little environmental value. In some cases, appraisers involved in politically significant deals were allowed, even ordered, to use highly speculative or downright unlikely scenarios to increase the price. And time and again, Newsday found that officials bypassed a three-decades-old review process that was set up after a prior land scandal to protect against inflated prices."
  • Their American Nightmare

    Newsday looks at a housing scam in Suffolk County, involving predatory lending practices. The investigation reports a complex mortgage fraud scheme orchestrated by Isaac Toussie and his father Robert Toussie, and reveals that the HUD department has filed felony charges against Toussie and 19 others. "Toussie worked in concert with real estate attorneys, mortgage bankers and appraisers to enrich himself by selling overpriced homes to unexperienced first-time buyers, mostly minorities from the city," Newsday reports. The articles also expose the close business ties between the one of the developers and the top county real estate official.
  • Crimes of Punishment

    In this three-part series the Globe conducted an extensive investigation into the Suffolk County corrections department after allegations arose of widespread abuse of power and misconduct among correctional officers. Four officers were fired from the county's South Bay correctional facility after current and former female inmates brought up charges that guards exchanged privileges for sexual favors. The county officially recognized the allegations after a former female inmate's 1999 pregnancy showed a corrections officer was the father. The department is also facing charges of brutality from prison guards, largely stemming from a 1999 case when an inmate died in the custody of the sheriff's department. The Globe finds that at the heart of all of the problems is the county sheriff. Sheriff Richard Rouse has had a long history inside Boston politics, but some say "his grasp of corrections is minimal and his response to scandals has been mostly cosmetic." Moreover the Globe finds that Rouse spends very little time in the department, relying heavily on assistants while being paid a $104,000 salary and using a department vehicle illegally.
  • Unfair Share

    Newsday investigates the faulty property tax systems of Nassau and Suffolk Counties in New York. In Suffolk County, those living in poorer areas tend to pay more property taxes than those living in more well-to-do places. In Nassau, the county government racks up about $100 million in "borrowing costs each year to finance returns" for those Long Island tax payers who challenge their tax bills.
  • Part-Time Work, Full-Time Pay

    This investigation uncovers that some board employees "treat jobs as political perks." Peddie looked at several "politically connected officials" at the Suffolk County Board of Elections time sheets and found that many had claimed to work a full day when they did not.
  • Settling His Accounts (A Prisoner of Means)

    Maurice Mathie may be in prison, but he is now a wealthy man. Suffolk County just cut a check to him for $450,000 following a civil suit brought by Mathie. In the lawsuit, Mathie claimed he was raped in prison -- and not by another inmate, but by the chief of security, Sgt. Roy Fries. The judge in the case found indeed Fries had acted "maliciously and sadistically" against Mathie "for purposes of 'personal gratification.'" The original damages were $750,000, but a three-judge federal panel adjusted the award to $450,000. Amazingly, however, no criminal charges were ever filed against Fries, and he continues not only to collect a $40,000/year pension, but holds a prestigious position within a Long Island fire department. Meanwhile, Mathie, convicted of manslaughter, is trying reopen his own case (which never went to trial; he copped a plea). He says he killed Paul Vincent Lamariana in a moment of "terror and confusion," after the victim attacked a member of his family. The prosecutors, however, say Mathie was abusing drugs, and that he killed Lamariana to steal his dope. The article delves into the events surrounding the killing by Mathie, as well as the subsequent rape he suffered at the hands of Fries. A sidebar interview with Fries himself is also included (he denies any rape ever took place).