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 [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "compliance" ...

  • Better Government Association and WBEZ: TRAPPED

    In Chicago’s public housing for senior residents, something as simple as taking an elevator can be dangerous. The Better Government Association and WBEZ 91.5FM investigated how the Chicago Public Housing Authority failed to maintain safe operating conditions in dozens of elevators.
  • Cash for Compliance?

    In their ongoing "Cash for Compliance?" series, the reporters revealed how a group called Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities (AID) grossly exploited the Americans with Disabilities Act and leveraged it into a money-making machine cloaked as a non-profit organization. The reporters have produced more than two dozen stories that systematically unraveled AID's multi-layered enterprise and showed its deception, hypocrisy, motives and players. Their major findings include: - AID’s own facilities had the same violations as the 1700 businesses they’ve sued. - No one with disabilities ever visited the businesses AID sued. - The IRS granted AID official non-profit status. However, on its IRS application, the reporters uncovered AID didn’t disclose any information about its lawsuits and its plan to self-fund through litigation. The reporters also revealed that AID set up other business entities that shuffle funds. - AID is secretly funded and backed by a controversial entrepreneur with a history of consumer fraud. - The lead attorney for AID has a history of ethical violations. The reporters also discovered that he made repeated mistakes in AID’s lawsuits. The State Bar of Arizona has interviewed many of the people featured in their reports.
  • Sweepstakes Shutdown

    WNCT-TV launched a two-part investigation in November 2015 examining why a local sheriff and district attorney allowed internet "sweepstakes" cafes to continue operating even though the North Carolina Supreme Court upheld a ban on these businesses. The investigation revealed the sheriff and district attorney's legal justification didn't comply with a recent state Supreme Court ruling. Less than two weeks after the investigation aired, the district attorney sent cease-and-desist letters to sweepstakes cafes in his jurisdiction. https://vimeo.com/150085981
  • Unsettling Dust

    The series examined Oregon’s failure to protect workers and the public from breathing airborne asbestos fibers during or after building demolitions. The stories found that hundreds of Portland, Oregon homes had been demolished with asbestos in place, creating a cancer risk to anybody who might have breathed airborne asbestos as a result. A Washington region with stricter reporting requirements had a significantly higher compliance rate, we found. The investigation also found that Oregon is the only state failing to meet federal notification standards necessary to prevent contractors from doing large-scale demolitions without first removing asbestos.
  • Pennsylvania police fail to fingerprint thousands of suspected criminals

    In violation of state law, police in Pennsylvania fail to fingerprint thousands of suspected criminals within 48 hours of arrest. Instead, they routinely rely on judges and jailers – and often the offenders themselves – to capture the prints they’ve missed. For 2013, 30,000 fingerprints were not recorded, according to state data. If a fingerprint is not made, a defendant will not have a complete criminal history at the state and national level. This means background checks will fail to raise warnings for dangerous offenders. We analyzed raw data from the state to find the areas with the worst compliance and contacted those with the best compliance to examine possible solutions.
  • State offices ignore freedom of information laws

    Through a comprehensive survey involving more than 80 state open records requests, the Press & Sun-Bulletin conducted a first-of-its-kind examination of compliance by New York's state agencies with part of the state Freedom of Information Law that is intended to let the public know what records are kept by various agencies. The newspaper documented 79 of 86 agencies, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office, were not complying with the law. The story led to immediate and ongoing corrective action.
  • Cleveland Clinic cases highlight flaws in safety oversight

    A three-month Modern Healthcare analysis of hundreds of pages of federal inspection reports reveals the 1,268-bed Cleveland Clinic Hospital spent 19 months on “termination track” with Medicare between 2010 and 2013 as a result of more than a dozen inspections and follow-up visits triggered by patient complaints. The Cleveland Clinic is far from alone in facing the only sanction the CMS can apply to hospitals when serious safety problems and violations of informed consent rules are brought to light by patient complaints. An analysis of Medicare inspection data found that between 2011 and 2014 there were at least 230 validated serious incidents— dubbed “immediate jeopardy” complaints—that led the agency to threaten hospitals with losing their ability to serve Medicare patients unless they immediately fixed the problems. Overall, there were at least 9,505 CMS complaints lodged in that time against 1,638 hospitals, which included low-severity “standard level” violations; midlevel “condition level” violations; and the less common but most serious “immediate jeopardy” complaints. Only the most serious and condition-level complaints can lead to threats of being cut off from government funding. Only in very rarest of circumstances has the CMS followed through on the threat. The CMS’ ultimate goal with hospital inspections “is to ensure compliance with Medicare rules, not close down hospitals that are essential to local communities,” a CMS spokeswoman said.
  • Cell of squalor, weeks of despair

    A Harris County jail inmate, jailed on a marijuana charge while on probation and in need of mental health care, was left in his cell for weeks without being let out, living amid heaps of trash, swarms of bugs, and piles of his own feces. When inspectors with a jail compliance team entered the cell of inmate Terry Goodwin on October 10, 2013, he was wearing a filthy, shredded jail uniform in the fetid cell. Shards of his orange uniform were hanging from the ceiling light. His sink, toilet and shower drain were clogged, not just with feces, but with toilet paper in an apparent attempt by Goodwin to cover his own waste and with orange rinds, perhaps in futile effort to mask the smell. That’s when the cover-up began.
  • Bigger Mess: Costly New Twist In Ongoing Nassau Police Crime Lab Scandal

    Despite assurances from top Nassau County officials to the contrary, an investigation by the Long Island Press discovered that unsuspecting taxpayers had in fact unknowingly been footing a more than $2.4 million bill for evidence testing and review as a consequence of years of lax oversight, mismanagement, gross negligence and/or willful ignorance at its critically important police department crime laboratory, which had been shuttered in 2011 after a national accreditation agency discovered mass noncompliance in its operations—and it’d be county taxpayers who’d be footing hundreds of thousands of dollars more because of those improprieties far into the foreseeable future.
  • Oversight of Indiana Tiger Exhibit Big on Growl, Light on Teeth

    KyCIR’s radio/online/print investigation found that a Louisville-area nonprofit that houses wild animals has a troubled record; that state and federal officials have done little to address complaints; and the handling of lions and other exotic animals is potentially putting the public's safety at risk. The facility, Wildlife in Need, has a history of repeat violations of the Animal Welfare Act and for two years, federal inspectors cited the owner for not having cages tall enough to prevent tigers and lions from escaping. They found that despite these citations federal inspectors did not remove the animals, fine the owner or force him into compliance. Because of an obscure provision in Indiana law, state officials have no power to investigate or inspect the facility -- even after a neighbor shot and killed a 48-pound leopard that many believe was housed at the facility.