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 "land deal" ...

  • Memphis councilman Berlin Boyd’s business relationships entangled in FedEx Logistics move

    If you thought a person couldn’t be on more than two sides of a deal, our investigation will encourage you to think again. In a city that serves as the global headquarters to FedEx, the logistics giant looms large over civic life. But while there’s long been precedent of a rotating door between the company and the Chamber of Commerce and City Council, our investigation revealed new heights of dueling loyalties in the form of a local legislator, Berlin Boyd.
  • Newsday Investigation: Pathway to Power

    In a panoramic, 30,000-word narrative, reporters exposed the underpinnings of Long Island’s corrupt political system through the life of a onetime street hoodlum who would eventually own a castle-like estate that became the Island’s unofficial political clubhouse and the site of a startling attempt on his life. Drilling deep below decades of numbing public scandals, the project is the defining document of how local power works on Long Island, how the public gets exploited and why unscrupulous operators persistently prevail.
  • 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.
  • Congressman Whitfield

    Our story examined U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield's ethical missteps and cozy ties and financial partnerships with his lobbyist wife and another powerful lobbyist. In 2002, Whitfield, his wife and a nationally-known lobbyist jointly purchased property in the upscale Greenbrier resort in West Virginia. With a few exceptions, House ethics rules prohibit gifts to members from anyone, including lobbyists. But in West Virginia, Duggan’s and Whitfield’s fortunes were linked in a six-figure land deal, a financial partnership that lasted more than a decade.
  • Deals for Developers, Cash for Campaigns

    Construction cranes can be seen throughout Washington, D.C. Less visible are the symbiotic relationships between land developers and city officials awarding tax breaks and discounted land deals. Those government subsidies are meant to revive neighborhoods, and to create jobs and affordable housing. But in some cases, the benefits never materialized, or the subsidies simply weren’t needed. And what began as a targeted economic development tool now looks to some like government hand outs that could have paid for other city services. A WAMU investigation found the D.C. City Council awarded $1.7 billion in real estate subsidies to 133 groups in the past decade — and more than a third of the subsidies went to ten developers that donated the most campaign cash over that time. What’s more, less than five percent of the subsidies went to the city’s poorest areas with a fourth of the city’s population, and developers failed to deliver on pledged public benefits for at least half the projects examined.
  • Gilbert's Pricey Land Deal

    In early 2009, Gilbert paid $300,000 per acre for 142.5 acres of undeveloped farmland intended for the development of two municipal parks. The transaction cause local real-estate experts to scratch their heads at the above-market price that Gilbert paid for the land. Leavitt's investigation found that the town bought the land without first seeking an appraisal to help determine its value.
  • Sweetheart Deals

    This investigation looked at "county-owned land deals in Prince George's County. They found that most of the deals - worth millions of dollars - went to people with close ties to County Executive Jack B. Johnson, including a business partner, golfing buddy, a former business partner and campaign contributors. Many of the deals were not put out to bid."
  • Did State Fund Overpay in Redding Land Deal?

    State Compensation Insurance Fund board member Kent Dagg was pushed for State Fund to build a new regional headquarters in his city of Redding, California. SCIF overpaid for the property by almost 50 percent, and the contract was given to a former officer of the Shasta County Builders Exchange, which was run by Kent Dagg.
  • Rep. Weller's Land Deal

    Illinois Rep. Jerry Weller failed to disclose the extent and the true cost of his property investments in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, an apparent violation of House ethics rules. Weller's misstatements about his real estate activity were particularly extensive in 2005, when he served as a key Congressional advocate of the Central American Free Trade Agreement.
  • Secret Land Deal Topples Top Official

    Palm Beach County Commission Chairman Tony Masilotti used a secret land trust, "shell companies and straw men" to hide his interest in land deals. The Post tells the story of how he made $10 million "using his political influence." The money was never reported on his financial disclosure forms. He was removed from office and erased from the county's Web site.