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 "city government" ...

  • News 8 Investigates: Government Oversight

    This entry is a "follow the money trail" report on questionable spending by city government on a significant building project.
  • Dishonor at Dallas City Hall

    Lies. Deceit. Taxpayer betrayal. They were all there, and more, hidden deep inside Dallas City Hall until our investigative team began asking questions. Our work ultimately resulted in the resignation and federal guilty plea of the second most powerful official in city government, Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway. In addition, four other people we investigated ultimately pleaded guilty in federal court. It was one of the biggest political scandals in Dallas history.
  • Police turn a blind eye for City Manager

    The ABC Action News I-Team took an in-depth look at issues, circumstances, and policies that led officers to release a Tampa Bay area city manager, who was found passed out behind the wheel of a running car in the middle of the road. The dashcam video and police reports reveal Tom O’Neill could not stand, walk or talk without assistance. Yet the officer closed the case as a medical call. O’Neill was found in the town he once ran which borders the small city he now over sees. The I-team, through multiple public records requests, discovered a series of phone calls and radio dispatches that led O’Neill’s own police chief to leave his jurisdiction and respond to the scene. His actions contributed to Port Richey Police turning a blind eye to a drunk driver whose blood alcohol level was later found to be four times the legal limit.
  • UTOPIA

    Behind vaunted promises of lightning-speed Internet access and an economic boon for 11 Utah cities lay a basic budgetary fact: The municipal fiber-optic network known as UTOPIA had been in operation for more than 10 years while consistently losing taxpayers millions of dollars annually and never reaching completion. So when a state audit flagged chronic fiscal problems with the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency, The Salt Lake Tribune took an in-depth look at all aspects of the troubled project — from the point of view of its sponsoring city governments whose budgets were jeopardized by mounting UTOPIA debts. Wading through thousands of city documents, meeting minutes and technical specs obtained through open-records requests and interviewing dozens of sources, Tribune reporters brought to light a picture of mismanagement and financial crisis even more dire than one painted by state investigators.
  • Waldo Canyon Fire tragedy

    On either June 22 or 23, the Waldo Canyon Fire ignited on U.S. forest land a few miles west of Colorado Springs. On June 26, it surged into the city, killing two people and destroying 345 homes. In print stories and blog posts between July 4 and Dec. 19, the Colorado Springs Independent delved into how city government responded to the fire — first as a threat, then as a crisis. Our findings suggest that an event city leaders have often described simply as unpredictably “epic” was actually made more dangerous and devastating by their own shortcomings of preparation and organization.
  • Crime Data Investigation

    The initial story in the crime data investigation found that from 2009 to early 2012 the Milwaukee Police Department misreported more than 500 aggravated assaults as lesser offenses not counted in the city’s violent crime tally. More than 800 additional cases followed the same pattern but couldn’t be verified with available records. Subsequent stories found police underreported aggravated assaults even when their own officers were severely injured; police clerks routinely changed dangerous weapon codes to generic ones in a way that allowed violent assaults to be underreported — and escape FBI scrutiny; the FBI’s crime auditing process is a fig leaf — metro police departments are rarely audited, and even then the sample sizes are too small to draw meaningful conclusions; Milwaukee police knew they misreported rapes and robberies, but didn’t mention this to city leaders or the public; high-ranking department officials raised red flags internally for years that there were problems but the public only heard a drumbeat that crime was down. In addition to these major installments, Poston and Diedrich wrote nearly two dozen follow-up stories that documented the fallout.
  • Behind Closed Doors, Kentucky City Buys Controversial Building For $1.3 Million

    Danville, Kentucky’s purchase of the former Boyle County Industrial Storage Facility, better known as the BISCO building, drew a lot of controversy along with legal battles during the second half of 2012. During its Aug. 13 meeting, Danville City Commission unanimously voted to buy the building at auction for $1,237,550. However, a bidder hired by the city had already won the property in auction three days before. Also, on the day of the auction city officials had cut a check for 10 percent of the BISCO building’s purchase price. Residents raised concerns about the secretive nature of the purchase, especially since then-Commissioner Ryan Montgomery’s father, Mike, had a long-standing business relationship with the building’s former owner Mitchell Barnes. After being publicly prodded, Mayor Bernie Hunstad also acknowledged that his wife, Susan, worked for the bidder the city hired to handle the auction process.
  • 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.
  • Councilmen on Tourism

    The RBS-TV news crew followed city council members from seven Brazilian states as they attended 6 training courses over 40 days. They found that many of them enjoyed tourist day trips instead of the courses they were supposed to be attending. They also found that the politicians could purchase certificates of completion even when they did not attend the courses.
  • Breach of Faith

    The investigation revealed extensive corruption in the city of Bell, California. The city's chief administrative officer was receiving a total compensation of $1.5 million -- probably the highest pay for that job anywhere in the country. The assistant city manager, police chief, and part-time council members had exorbitant salaries as well. The city was also illegally raising taxes and giving police daily impound quotas to boost revenue.