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 "Sweetheart Deals" ...

  • Pension Crisis

    Jacksonville’s Police and Fire Pension Fund is in crisis. The fund has about 43 cents available for every dollar promised to its retired police officers and fire fighters. Now $2.88 billion, the multiplying city debt is threatening the city’s financial stability. Bond ratings have been downgraded. City projects have been scuttled. Bankruptcy is feared. The recent recession isn’t the only thing that crippled the fund. Deals done in secret, deals hidden for more than a decade and sweetheart deals that allowed a select few to skirt regulations and retire from public service jobs with hundreds of thousands of extra dollars they weren’t entitled to are also to blame.
  • Sweetheart Deals and Criminal Ties in Cicero

    This series of stories exposed millions of dollars in questionable spending and waste, tainted by insider deals and nepotism, in the town government of Cicero, an inconic Chicago suburb.
  • Land Flips Sting Taxpayers

    The Gwinett County school district is not only Georgia's largest, but arguably its most highly regarded after winning a prestigious award as the nation's top urban district. However, while the district celebrated its national acclaim, the Journal-Constitution began scrutinizing its unusually secretive land-purchasing program. After analyzing all the district's land purchases over the past 12 years, the Journal-Constitution focused on 11 mullti-million dollar transactions, many of them involving prominent and politically connected real estate developers.
  • Bail Bondsmen: Working the Numbers

    A year-long investigation into the bail bond industry by the Dallas Morning News focused on the relationship between bail bondsmen, the judicial system, and the county government. The investigation uncovered corrupt practices, sweetheart deals, and dysfunctional oversight that cost taxpayers many millions of dollars.
  • Follow the Money: Congress & TARP Oversight

    This series of watchdog stories look at spending in Congress and use of TARP funds. They used FOIA requests to gain access to TARP contracts and called into questions some questionable charitable work, sweetheart deals, financial disclosures, fund-raising, earmarks and more.
  • Billboard Confidential

    This story was an investigation into the billboard industry in the City of Los Angeles. They found a business blatantly breaking the law by placing thousands of illegal signs all over the city, and government officials doing nothing to stop it. The story revealed the Los Angeles City Council made sweetheart deals with certain sign companies, allowing them to break the city's own zoning laws. Some of these deals were done behind closed doors, with no input from the community. This relationship seemed to benefit both parties. The journalists revealed every single council member received campaign contributions from members of the billboard industry, who in turn made millions -- if not billions -- off of LA's streetscapes
  • The Mahoney Scandal: Fall from Grace

    This story uncovered how Florida Rep. Tim Mahoney had secretly paid a former staffer - and one-time mistress - $120,000 and promised her a job at a Democratic media firm to stave off a sexual harassment lawsuit against him. Further reporting also found that Mahoney had gone to great lengths to help another former mistress - a county emergency response official in her district - win a grant from FEMA. The report shows how Democratic leadership was aware of problems with Mahoney's conduct as early as September and encouraged him to deal with the situation.
  • The Secret University

    Lu Hardin, popular president of the University of Central Arkansas , received a $3000,000 bonus, approved in secret by the college's board of trustees - a violation of Arkansas' Freedom of Information Act. Trustees told the reporter that the bonus came from private funds, but she discovered that the board had used public funds in violations of rules capping the amount of public funds that can be used for college presidents' salaries.
  • Sweetheart Deals

    This investigation looked at "county-owned land deals in Prince George's County. They found that most of the deals - worth millions of dollars - went to people with close ties to County Executive Jack B. Johnson, including a business partner, golfing buddy, a former business partner and campaign contributors. Many of the deals were not put out to bid."
  • St. Louis Towing Scandal

    This is a series of pieces Mahr, Hunn and Kohler wrote looking into the relationship between the St. Louis Police Department and a private tow lot, St. Louis Metropolitan Towing. The lot illegally kept and sold several cars that police impounded during investigations. The lot also lent and sold several cars to the St. Louis police chief's daughter. The series includes short personal stories about people whose cars were taken by the lot.