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 "court cases" ...

  • Domestic Violence Dismissals

    “Domestic Violence Dismissals” analyzed the complex institution behind domestic violence court cases, specifically focusing on the high rate of case dismissals. On average, only 20 percent of cases of domestic violence in Athens County, Ohio, are prosecuted. The majority of the remaining 80 percent are dismissed, with a smaller percentage – but still substantial amount – of cases reduced to a lesser charge. Cases are dismissed for a multitude of reasons, often including a lack of response from the victim or a victims’ unwillingness to prosecute. The story further delved into the nuance of dismissing a domestic violence case.
  • Florida’s Foreclosure Crisis

    Florida homeowners are being steamrolled through foreclosure courts by overzealous judges, while others are left holding the bag for abandoned and unlivable homes, because state officials have placed expedience over the right to due process in an effort to clear a perceived backlog in court cases. The Center for Public Integrity interviewed dozens of homeowners, lawyers, judges and public officials, observed courtrooms, and examined databases and documents to paint a picture of a foreclosure crisis that persists years after the financial crisis. The project resulted in Wells Fargo, one of the biggest mortgage lenders, rehabbing dozens of abandoned homes it owns, and state officials looking at ways to make the state courts more responsive to the needs of homeowners.
  • Policed Property

    WSPA discovered a major backlog of civil asset forfeiture cases in a local county. Cars seized more than a decade ago had been rusting in the county impound lot while hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash was in a sheriff’s office bank account without trial. Their digging revealed the cases involved hundreds of defendants including many who had never been charged with a crime. In each case, the cases had never even been scheduled for trial.
  • Sex Offender Program

    The stories spotlighted a little-known state agency and civil commitment program that purported to be a treatment program for convicted sex offenders, revealing questionable and abusive practices and raising questions about its constitutionality. In addition to uncovering the details of questionable contracts, the stories revealed a systemic and ongoing failure by state officials to conduct the civil commitment program in accordance with state law, best practices, and its overall constitutionality. Unlike civil commitment programs in other states, Texas’ program effectively operated as an additional criminal punishment for some of society’s least sympathetic offenders, forcing them into a purported treatment and educational program no one has successfully completed in its 15-year history. The stories have sparked a nearly completed housecleaning of the Office of Violent Sex Offender Management leadership and plans for a revamp of the entire program. The state district judge who oversees most of the court cases involving the civil commitment program also is the subject of an investigation by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. In addition to a series of investigations and a state audit underway, legislators have called for an overhaul of the program and may revisit the original authorizing law.
  • The Echo Chamber

    A comprehensive and original Reuters examination reveals the small group of lawyers that have outsized influence at the U.S. Supreme Court. A comprehensive and original Reuters examination reveals the small group of lawyers that have outsized influence at the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • When Nurses Fail

    In the fall of 2013, the Star Tribune published a five-part series, “When Nurses Fail,” an investigation by staff reporter Brandon Stahl of how Minnesota protects the public from unsafe nurses. The stories showed how the state Board of Nursing rarely threw nurses out of the profession for unsafe conduct, how nurses could commit drug-related misconduct while under state monitoring, how background check flaws allow problem nurses to keep their licenses and how nurses who lose jobs after allegations of misconduct can find new ones. The reporting revealed a strikingly lenient attitude toward discipline of problem nurses, who were given chance after chance, especially if their misconduct was related to an addiction to drugs or alcohol. The backbone of the project was a database Stahl created from more than 1,000 enforcement actions against problem nurses. He also examined hundreds more records of neglect and maltreatment investigations and criminal and civil court cases. Patterns emerged from his research: More than 260 nurses have licenses despite records of unsafe practice, including botched care that harmed patients. Nurses whose neglect led to patient deaths were told to take courses, while at least 112 nurses were licensed to practice despite thefts of drugs on the job, fraudulent prescriptions or practicing while impaired. Stahl’s reporting has exposed serious flaws in the oversight of the largest population of health professionals, and in the process opened a conversation about patient harm that has already shown dramatic results. It’s the kind of public service reporting that policy makers and ordinary Minnesotans count on from the Star Tribune.
  • Record Document ICE Cover-Up

    The story documents how Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials attempted to cover-up a wave of immigration court cases dismissals in Houston in the fall of 2010.
  • "Derailed - A Star Tribune Speical Report"

    The Star Tribune and ProPublica revealed that the nation's "second-largest railroad company," Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF), has gone to great lengths to cover up its legal mishaps and wrongdoings. In addition to losing evidence, the company and its lawyers worked to gain "unfair advantage "over opponents in "more than 20 court cases."
  • Connected

    “Two former judges, already facing charges for accepting kickbacks, are accused of fixing a $3.5 million defamation case against The Citizens’ Voice newspaper at the behest of a convicted mob boss. The stories establish various ties between the judges and the mobster. The state Supreme Court eventually granted the newspaper a new trial.”
  • Flipping Fraud

    In one of the largest white collar crimes, "$10 billion in suspicious property flips helped turn the real estate boom into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression." This series became the most comprehensive investigation and it also uncovered certain tactics used by these men to appear legitimate. Furthermore, this investigation didn't have the help of police reports and court cases, just the truth.