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 "construction" ...

  • For sale: Keys to the City; Mayor Al's Shady Pal

    "Norman's investigation into Deerfield Beach Mayor Al Capellini found that he'd systematically used the power of his office over the course of many years to financially benefit himself, his business clients, and his friends. It also found that he was serving as a front man and construction supervisor for a notorious former cocaine kingpin who was opening an illegal nightclub with help of former drug associates."
  • Welcom to Boondoggle Unified

    " At L.A. Unified, the nation's second largest school district, Joe Santos worked at a construction company that had won a $10 million dollar seismic bracing project, despite no experience in seismic safety work. When Santos witnessed false claims, left his company and became a federal whistle blower, he was troubled to find that not only were the school district and FEMA reluctant to root out the fraud and waste he exposed; the District Attorney was willing to prosecute him on computer theft charges, even though key evidence had been tainted. The story exposed a vacuum of accountability between FEMA, its inspector general, the general, the school district and its facilities management division. Selective prosecution raised questions about priorities and methods within the L.A. District Attorney's Office."
  • Blueprint Failure

    "After nearly 10 years on the drawing board, a $102 million renovation and expansion of the city's Central Library went from being hailed as the most significant contribution to Indianapolis' civic architechture in decades to the worst public construction debacle in history."
  • Abandoning Our Mentally Ill

    A year-long investigation of living conditions of the most severely mentally ill patients in the Milwaukee area discovered that those conditions were far from ideal, sometimes filthy and dangerous. Among the discoveries were patients housed in illegal group homes which city building inspectors did not discover or report. In addition, caseworkers were still placing patients in homes despite knowledge of their poor and filthy conditions. At the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex, a 33-year-old woman died from dehydration and starvation after doctors allowed her to go nearly four weeks without food or water. Social service and government agencies had also passed up opportunities to accept federal money for construction of better facilities, $3.3 million in the past seven years.
  • North Carolina Water: Safe to Drink?

    "North Carolina did not properly police public water supplies or private wells. Thousands of systems were not obeying laws requiring them to test their water and clean up contamination. Hundreds did not have a certified operator. While state regulators levied fines, they usually did not collect. The story also revealed problems with private wells that put two million North Carolinians at risk. The state enacted well construction standards years ago, but didn't enforce them. Two-thirds of the state's 100 counties didn't either. There was no state law in North Carolina requiring tests of private well water, and few counties require such tests."
  • Small Town Justice

    A Haitian truck driver, Jean Claude Meus, was convicted of vehicular homicide after a semi he was driving turned over and fell on a minivan, killing a mother and daughter. While no drugs or alcohol were present in his system at the time of the accident, prosecutors were able to push a conviction based on their assertion that he had fallen asleep at the wheel, and was thus driving recklessly. But WTVT-TV investigators "found convincing evidence that (he) did not fall asleep, and in fact, was trying to avoid an accident." An off-duty firefighter was a witness at the scene, and asserted that Meus was "alert and helpful immediately after the crash." Yet the lead investigator, who attended high school with victim Nona Moore, never interview Juan Otero, the off-duty firefighter. With the help of experts, WTVT reconstructed the crash, and the conclusion drawn was that Meus had turned off the road to avoid an obstruction. Further, WTVT spoke with jurors who said that with that new evidence, they would not have voted to convict.
  • Inspecting the Inspectors

    "The Phoenix area is one of the fastest growing parts of the country. Developers and home construction companies are trying to keep up with demand, so homes go up quickly; some owners say too quickly." It turns out that building inspectors were taking half the time that experts say they should. They're work loads were high. Also the developer themselves were to blame in some cases. One developer "poured sub-standard slabs for homes to save money."
  • Regulation of Contractors A Blueprint for Problems: Despite long history of complaints, lawsuits, Hollywood company, entrepreneur unfazed

    Reporter Mc Nelly Torres investigates South Florida business owner John Pluto and the problems with a system that allows an entrepeneur to open a new business even though his past companies have been plagued with problems. Current laws offer little protection for the consumer and even when consumers investigate a company's background, it's difficult for them to know who is behind the business.
  • The buck stops where?

    A commercial builder hired to construct a spa failed to conform to architectural plans and building codes, but the county inspector did not detect the failures. When this was discovered, all parties denied responsibility. Inspectors were cited for incompetence.
  • 'Northshore': A Tale of Two Names

    Pastrick and his partner owned both Northshore Construction & Development Inc. and North Shore Construction & Development Inc. Using these two sound alike names by substituting one name for another on the mortgage documents, they turned $589,000 of land finance from Lake Erie Land Co. into more than $4.5 million in construction loans.