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 "driver" ...

  • The Protected

    One million cars owned by California public employees have license plates that shield their information from prying eyes. That secrecy can enable them to run toll booths and red lights and avoid parking citations. They also signal police that the drivers are "one of their own" or related to someone who is, causing many to let these public employees off with a warning.
  • Ghost Drivers

    "For years, Indiana has suffered the embarrassment and dubious distinction as a "fraud Friendly" state when it comes to obtaining bogus licenses and identification cards. A new administration vowed to put a stop to it. But 13 investigates discovered the state's top agencies for prosecuting fraud weren't following through on the legal end. Investigative Reporter Sandra Chapman began tracking the case of an accused Bureau of Motor Vehicles worker accused of fraud. What she found instead was a system allowing known illegal drivers using social security numbers from decreased residents to operate free and clear of Indiana law."
  • Dirty Money

    Some law enforcement agencies have become addicted to seizing drug money. This story found:</p> <p>*Police agencies are seizing bulk cash from drivers and alleging it's drug money without finding any drugs, or, in many cases, without ever filing criminal money laundering charges.</p> <p>* Underfunded, usually rural police and prosecutor's offices have become dependent on seizing suspected drug money to carry out the basic functions of their offices, a state of affairs specifically discouraged by federal asset forfeiture laws.</P> <p>* In the extreme, some corrupt police forces are setting up "forfeiture traps," reminiscent of small-town speed traps, to catch suspected drug couriers and take their currency, a practice some attorneys call "highway robbery"</p> <p>* Some sheriff's departments have become more interested in confiscating cash than drugs, i.d. working southbound lanes into Mexico -- "our piggybank," one South Texas sheriff told me -- where they're more likely to catch money couriers. The reporters also found that these departments are not interested in investigating the couriers as a way to disrupt cartel activities -- all they're interested in is seizing the cash.</p> <p>* With little oversight built into state or federal asset forfeiture laws, some prosecutors' office are misspending their seized drug funds on things like margarita machines for the annual picnic and soccer uniforms for the police soccer team.</p> <p>* More and more law enforcement agencies are taking advantage of the "piggy banks" on their highways. According to the US Justice Department, in the past four years seized assets tripled from $567 million to $1.6 billion.</p>
  • Rejecting the Vote

    The right to vote may have been illegally taken away from thousands of qualified citizens in Harris County, Texas. A Republican politician was found to prevent potential voters from getting on the voting rolls in an attempt to stop Democratic candidates from winning.
  • Sick drivers causing fatal wrecks

    The story (and follow-up pieces) exmined the issue of dangerous sick drivers who fill U.S. highways. The July 21 story found that hundreds of thousands of drivers carry commercial licenses even though they also qualify for full federal disability payments. The tractor-trailer and bus drivers have suffered seizures, heart attacks or unconscious spells that led to deadly crashes, with violations found in every state.
  • Free to Flee

    For years in many states "fugitives have been let go by police, only to victimize more people. Between crimes, fugitives have used their real identities to get new drivers licenses in new states. Some have registered with police as sex offenders and still avoided arrest...The lapses mean hundreds of thousands of felony fugitives can run - and they don't need to hide."
  • Leaks in the System

    KMSP-TV found that oversight for drug testing of commercial truckers was lax. This allowed truckers to adulterate or substitute specimens in order to pass a test. Also they found that despite drug test being required, companies in Minnesota and Wisconsin continue to put drivers behind the wheel without testing them first. Lastly, they exposed a loophole that allowed failed drivers to keep working in the industry.
  • Who's in the Driver's Seat at Motor Vehicles

    The online traffic school, lowestpricetrafficschool.com, had exclusive advertisement in Florida's Official Driver's Handbook through the Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles department. The traffic school was also in charge of printing the booklet, offering it free on line but charging taxpayers for shipping. WTVT found that Fred Dickinson's, the executive director of the DHSMV, wife was a lobbyist for the National Safety Commission which operates the traffic school. She later resigned her position when Gov. Jeb Bush criticized the Dickinsons for the conflict of interest.
  • The Wrong Suspect

    Kevin Wehner was announced as the prime suspect for the deaths of four Miami-Dade cops after Shawn LaBeet, a violent felon, had stolen his identity four years before. CBS4's investigation revealed that "a combination of both poor police work and lack of communication among local, state and federal agencies allowed Shawn LaBeet to remain free.
  • The Worst City Bus Drivers

    ABC7 sued the City and County of San Francisco to gain access to the public records of the ongoing investigation of a small group of bus drivers whom many complaints have been filed against. Despite the number of complaints, Municipal Transportation Agency has never disciplined them, even when complaints are valid. The series revealed "serious systemic and safety problems" in the public agency.