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 "conflict" ...

  • Former NOAA official pushed policies that benefit his company

    This story took a look at the largest company that provides at-sea watchdogs to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It found that the president of the company was part of an influential group that helped convince the government to use catch shares, which require more watchdogs -- and thus more money for his company. It also found that the company has a grant to assess the success of catch shares, a potential conflict-of-interest when the company benefits from the program.
  • Cory Briggs

    This series dug deep into the legal and ethical practices of San Diego attorney Cory Briggs who built a business and a reputation suing developers, municipalities and state and federal agencies in the name of the little guy. The results found major undisclosed conflicts of interest (which immediately resulted in a $143,000 reimbursement for taxpayers), a web of more than 40 nonprofits used as shell companies, highly questionable business practices, discrepancies in personal land deals and close business ties to the people he sues.
  • A Beef Over Politics Small Ranchers Raise Cain Over Cattle Fee

    A deep dive into the controversial federal program that requires all U.S. cattle ranchers to contribute a total of $80 million a year into a beef promotion fund that many ranchers say squanders millions of dollars a year and which they have little or no control over. Our reporting took an in-depth look at expenditures, some illegally used for federal lobbying and some that appear to be clear conflicts of interest – including at the state level, where there had been little or no reporting until now.
  • Presidential Campaign Accountability Coverage

    The Wall Street Journal examined leading presidential candidates, their backgrounds and fundraising. A set of stories explored potential conflicts of interest between Hillary Clinton's work as secretary of state and donors to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation and paid sponsors of Bill Clinton's speeches. The Journal also exposed Donald Trump's role as a pitchman for what some have called a pyramid scheme. Journal reporters also scrutinized Jeb Bush's donor network as well as the level of coordination between Mr. Bush's campaign and the "independent" super PAC supporting his presidential bid. And Journal reporters revealed Dr. Ben Carson's connections to a questionable nutritional supplements company.
  • In These Times: Why the United States Leaves Deadly Chemicals on the Market

    We investigated the numerous ways the chemical industry influences regulation of chemicals by the EPA and the FDA. Specifically, we discovered that industry-funded researchers have used a particular type of scientific study called “physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling” to support industry claims that economically important chemicals are safe. We found that the scientists who pioneered PBPK modeling while working for the Air Force in the early 1980s had recognized early on that PBPK studies could be used to industry’s advantage. As we examined the record over the past four decades, it became clear that these studies are primarily conducted by regulatory toxicologists working as private consultants or for research institutions funded by chemical companies. Further, these same individuals and consultancies often receive federal grants and contracts, suggesting widespread conflicts of interest. Our investigation documents the outcome – often delay or outright termination – of regulatory processes for numerous hazardous chemicals, including methylene chloride, formaldehyde, bisphenol A, perchlorate, styrene, and chlorpyrifos. While other journalists have documented the chemical industry’s political influence, to our knowledge no other journalists have brought to light the ways science itself is being manipulated.
  • Paid to Prosecute

    A joint Texas Tribune/Austin American-Statesman investigation revealed that the state's largest and oldest provider of workers’ compensation coverage — Texas Mutual Insurance — had paid millions of dollars to the Travis County District Attorney’s Office to get public prosecutors to pursue alleged crimes against the company. It was an enormous conflict of interest that had flown under the radar for more than a decade, a private justice system that gave special treatment to one insurer — and subjected many unsuspecting blue-collar workers to lawsuits.
  • The Changing Face of America

    Most data-driven discussions about race focus either on the national level (which masks local trends) or are centered on areas of conflict (such as Ferguson, Mo.) USA TODAY wanted to give people the tools that would allow them to explore how race end ethnicity have changed over time -- where they live and where they go to school. But how do you measure diversity when such trends wax and wane over time? Is a community that changed from nearly all-white to all-black as diverse as an area that received a high level of immigrants? Why do some communities barely notice big changes over time, while others become a nexus of violence? And how does the change in my community compare to anyone else's? To do that USA TODAY needed a tool to level the playing field, a way to show 100 years of change both locally and nationally, on the same scale. The series, based on the USA TODAY Diversity Index, is explanatory data at its best: quantifying incremental change that everyone sees anecdotally.
  • Investigation of charter school operator

    For years, Dr. Michael Sharpe was among the most prominent charter school leaders in Connecticut, collecting millions of dollars from lawmakers eager to embrace school reform, and harboring big plans to expand his already growing empire beyond the state’s borders. Today, that empire has collapsed, following deep and aggressive reporting by a team of Hartford Courant reporters who revealed that Sharpe had a felony conviction for financial fraud, had no doctoral degree despite calling himself “Dr.,” had misused state grant money and had turned his Jumoke Academy charter school into a den of nepotism and financial conflicts of interest. As the stories unfolded, Sharpe and his entire leadership team were forced out, and investigations were launched by the state Department of Education and the FBI, which is currently presenting evidence to a federal grand jury.
  • Crimea Property Grab

    While the world's attention was bracketed on the ongoing armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, the Associated Press set out to investigate what was also happening to the south, in Crimea, the territory unilaterally annexed by Russia from Ukraine in March. Mills, based in Moscow, and Dahlburg, then AP's Brussels news editor, and a former Moscow-based staffer for the AP and the Los Angeles Times, meticulously tracked down example after example of property taken over by Crimea's new leaders under a so-called nationalization law, against the rules of Russia's own constitution. The AP interviewed victims who lost millions in farms, factories or other assets, and whose efforts to get justice or compensation have been thwarted. The story was the first to extensively report the large-scale grab for real estate and other forms of property under way in Crimea, and to show that in some cases, the new pro-Moscow leadership installed in power had benefited personally.
  • Public Money, Private Profits

    David Sirota's run of coverage in the International Business Times lays bare how hedge funds, private equity investors and other professional money managers have penetrated an enormous and lucrative frontier – the roughly $3 trillion worth of public pension systems run by cities and states. The deal-making that has delivered this state of affairs has been laced with conflicts of interest and ethics breaches. Sirota produced a blockbuster scoop showing how the head of New Jersey’s pension system, the former private equity executive Robert Grady, had been in direct contact with top political staff working for the reelection of Gov. Chris Christie just as major campaign contributions were pouring into Christie’s coffers from financial services companies with contracts to manage state pension funds – an apparent violation of state and federal pay-to-play laws.