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 "holes" ...

  • Unchecked Power

    After losing hard-fought reelection campaigns, Alabama’s sheriffs often turn their attention to undermining their successors in ways that abuse the public trust. On his way out the door, one sheriff drilled holes in government-issued cell phones, while another pocketed public money intended to feed inmates. The ousted leaders dumped jail food down the drain and burned through tens of thousands of sheriff's office dollars by purchasing thousands of rolls of toilet paper. These are among the findings of my six-month investigation into these practices for AL.com and the ProPublica Local Reporting Network. In June 2019, I chronicled the actions of nine defeated Alabama sheriffs, seven of whom allegedly destroyed public property, stole public funds and/or wasted taxpayer money after their electoral defeats. These stories were made possible by my realization that incoming sheriffs were often more willing to talk on the record about the bad behavior and criminality of predecessors who had taken advantage of them than they would be under other circumstances.
  • Zombie Campaigns

    Zombie Campaigns is an in-depth look at the spending habits of 102 former congresspeople who kept spending campaign donations as if they were still campaigning well after they left office. The reporting uncovered a wealth of personal spending and shone a light on loopholes that allowed some politicians to continue spending for decades after they retired, and in some cases even after they died. Along with the story, we published a searchable database of spending by those candidates we identified as running a zombie campaign.
  • WSAW: A Dying Wish

    After receiving a letter from a woman who was found dead, WSAW-TV's investigative reporter uncovered loopholes regarding the creation of churches, all while discovering small mistakes made by a county, a state agency and a federal agency allowing a church, some trustees call fake, to exist.
  • Texas Observer: Access Denied

    The Texas Public Information Act is under attack. The law, which ensures the public’s access to government records, has taken a beating from state Supreme Court jurists, lawmakers and state agencies since it was passed in 1973. Once a shining example of government transparency, the law has been eroded by a growing list of loopholes for everything from ongoing police investigations and the dates of birth of government employees to information related to executions. Journalists are well aware of this problem, but it had never been presented to the public in a deep-dive feature until now. “Access Denied” reveals that government officials can delay, derail and deny requests by slow-walking them or charging exorbitant fees. This piece was reported over six months and included interviews with dozens of government officials, investigative journalists, citizen activists and researchers.
  • Why is it ‘easy’ to steal from youth sports?

    Our investigation exposed how a prominent youth sports league that went to the Little League World Series was being ripped off by adult leaders. When we looked statewide, we found gaping loopholes in youth sport finances.
  • Two-Hour Diploma

    “Two-Hour Diploma” started with a late-night hotline tip in February of 2018. Ten months later, at the time of this entry, the shock waves it produced continue to reverberate throughout the state of Maryland. Using deep dive, old-fashioned investigative journalism, this series produced results. A Baltimore high school was shut down after Fox45 enrolled an undercover student who received a diploma in two hours. Multiple state investigations were launched leading to other schools being shut down. Lawmakers, including the Governor, promised legislative action in Annapolis when session opens in January. And Fox45 jumped right through the massive loopholes this investigation exposed by opening our own church and school – right under the state’s nose. Two weeks after filing the paperwork, Good News Academy was certified and approved by the Maryland State Department of Education. As all this was unfolding, investigative reporter Chris Papst was sued by a school operator and physical threats were made against Papst and Fox45 for which the police were called. In an effort to stop the investigation, Fox45’s sources were threatened with violence and had their property vandalized. “Two-Hour Diploma” was produced by Project Baltimore, a team of Fox45 journalists committed to a long-term investigation of education in the Baltimore area.
  • The death of Korryn Gaines

    These stories explored the death of Korryn Gaines after a six-hour standoff with Baltimore County police. Baltimore Sun reporters were able to shed light on the incident with stories about Gaines’ past encounters with police and social media postings, an exclusive interview with the neighbor who allowed police to drill holes in the wall he shared with Gaines’ apartment so they could monitor her movements, and another exclusive on court documents showing that police sought Gaines’ private Facebook messages and other account information. Reporters also explored other angles, such as the role social media is playing in encounters with police across the country. Finally, reporters gained exclusive access to the investigative file that provided a trove of information on how the standoff went down.
  • Heart of the Epidemic - West Virginia's Opioid Addiction

    Over the past five years, prescription drug abuse has become a raging epidemic in this country. Seventy-eight Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. Prescription rates for oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone have quadrupled in the last sixteen years. Over five million people in this country are addicted to prescription pain meds. No state has felt the effects of this more than West Virginia. With the highest rate of prescription overdose deaths in the nation and the highest rate of use, this tiny state of 1.8 million sits at the heart of the epidemic. Driving these troubling statistics are the corrupt doctors, greedy pharmacists and negligent drug wholesalers who form the pill mill chains that indiscriminately prescribe and hand out pain meds for profit. With West Virginia serving as an extreme reflection of the country's spiraling rates of opioid addiction, CBS News set out to drill down into the layers of the state's epidemic.
  • Toxic Safety

    A child’s car seat is the only consumer product that is required by law in all 50 states and it is crucial to keep a child safe in the car. However, this investigation revealed false advertising, legal loopholes and outdated federal regulations are exposing millions of children to concerning, even known-cancer-causing chemicals, in their car seats with no apparent safety benefit. Over the course of a year, KPIX lit car seats on fire, commissioned lab tests on car seats and the kids who use them, searched public records, mined social media, analyzed national car fire data and interviewed experts from every applicable industry. The resulting series sparked action by lawmakers, industry groups, consumer advocates, federal regulators and car seat
  • Transparency

    A four-month KHOU investigation reveals how Houston’s $8 million police body camera program is falling short of its promises. Police and politicos touted it as the blueprint for transparency and accountability, but six months into the program, KHOU discovered that “transparency” has become more of a city hall buzzword than benchmark for the truth. The Houston Police Department violates its own policies. The public can’t readily access video footage. And officers don’t always press the record button when it counts. https://youtu.be/7qbf_rgt__s http://www.khou.com/local/investigative/bodycamtransparency