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 "legislator" ...

  • 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.
  • "Healthy Holly" and University of Maryland Medical System Investigation

    The “Healthy Holly” scandal began with a suggestion from a source, a state legislator who told Baltimore Sun reporter Luke Broadwater she thought there might be some irregular contracting practices going on at the University of Maryland Medical System. Broadwater, busy covering the General Assembly session, filed a public records request. The documents showed that Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and other members of the hospital network’s board of directors had no-bid contracts with the medical system -- though the extent of those contracts, especially Pugh's, were not fully described. Broadwater's story -- written quickly as a daily as soon as he received the documents -- was breaking news that got the attention of Maryland's political establishment: University of Maryland Medical System pays members of volunteer board hundreds of thousands in business deals. Immediately, Broadwater and other Baltimore Sun reporters followed their instincts and tips that were coming in -- including that Pugh had failed to print many of the books she’d been paid to produce, while thousands of others were sitting unread in a Baltimore school system warehouse. Meanwhile, Sun reporters pulled ethics forms, poured over tax records, filed public information requests and worked sources, breaking story after story that exposed a widening scandal that rocked the state of Maryland, perhaps more than any other series of articles in decades. Their work led to the resignation of the mayor, the UMMS CEO and other top officials, including every member of the medical system's board of directors.
  • Daily Herald: Illinois tollway series

    The Illinois tollway, governed by a nonelected board of political appointees, is the only option to get around the Chicago region for millions of drivers who spend $1.3 billion annually to use the system. While hardworking customers paid tolls, tollway executives and board directors were quietly hiring political insiders for high-paying jobs, handing lucrative contracts to firms where their relatives worked, and weakening bylaws to water down the tollway board’s conflict-of-interest rules. As the Daily Herald exposed nepotism, patronage and excessive spending at the tollway, the agency’s leaders fought back. Tactics included denying FOIAs, concealing information and accusing the newspaper of harassment. The Daily Herald’s investigation caught the attention of other media, two governors and state lawmakers who ultimately fired the tollway board of directors in early 2019. Legislators credited the Herald’s investigative series with alerting the public about what Gov. J.B. Pritzker referred to “unethical behavior.”
  • ADG: Violent Reality

    Since 1999, more than 8,000 Arkansans have died by gunfire — about half of them suicides. Although many law enforcement officials and legislators say that gun-control laws might work, they are unwilling to act. The stories explore the effect of specific laws on gun violence in other states, suicide-prevention advocates' work with gun sellers to keep weapons out of suicidal individuals' possession, and federal law enforcement's efforts to keep guns out of the hands of felons.
  • Lien on Me

    It seemed, at first, to be an isolated case of an aggressive bill collector going after a patient, but six months after KUSA-TV heard an initial complaint, the station’s investigative team found a widespread practice of surgeons using the courts to secure thousands from their patients. The practice has left the hundreds of thousands of people with insurance vulnerable to lawsuits, wage garnishments and property liens. “Lien on Me” has legislators promising change and the region’s largest group of surgeons promising to back off.
  • Neglected Neighbors: How Elderly Housing Policies Fail Connecticut's Most Vulnerable

    Thismulti-part series investigates a decades-old policy that mixes the elderly with disabled residents of any age in the same public housing. Dating back to the bills that established public housing during President Roosevelt’s administration, the definition of “elderly” was defined to include not only people over a certain age, but also people with disabilities. Today, that definition remains, despite decades-worth of government studies that show it to be problematic to house these populations together. Recommendations were made to ease management and social issues, but few were implemented. In Connecticut, legislators have been repeatedly warned about worsening issues by housing authorities and residents. Today, the policy is still in effect, and failing both the elderly and disabled people who live there.
  • Bias on the bench

    Florida legislators have struggled for 30 years to create an equitable justice system. But a Herald-Tribune investigation, involving an unprecedented analysis of tens of millions of electronic records, shows that black defendants are punished more severely than white defendants who commit the same crimes and have similar criminal backgrounds. Judges in Florida offer blacks fewer changes to avoid jail or scrub away felonies. They give blacks more time behind bars – sometimes double the sentences of whites. No news organization, university or government agency has ever done such a comprehensive investigation of sentences handed down by individual judges on a statewide scale. http://projects.heraldtribune.com/bias/
  • State Police Secrets and Surveillance

    The Texas Department of Public Safety and politicians for years worked behind the scenes to create a system of surveillance, casting a net that included potential criminals and everyday innocent citizens. DPS, the state police, began covering up secrets and limiting media access when The Dallas Morning News Watchdog Desk began investigating. That led to the agency sending private memos to state legislators and staff in an attempt to stop or discredit The News', and other media outlets, story publications.
  • Legislative Spending

    Both of the 2015 stories were part of an occasional series, “Watchdog Report: Legislative Spending,” that began in 2014. The series is based on an exclusive database created by The Morning Call to analyze legislators’ spending. Before that, taxpayers would have found it difficult to nearly impossible to find out how their representatives were spending their money. Legislators are not required to publicly reveal their individual expenses and the records are not uniform or easily digested http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/legislator-expense-reports/mc-pa-house-expense-map-htmlstory.html http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/legislator-expense-reports/mc-pa-senate-expense-map-htmlstory.html
  • Broken System, Missing Money?

    KOB's investigative team exposed a serious blind spot in New Mexico's campaign finance system. The system is supposed to give voters honest and accurate information about who is bankrolling political campaigns in the state, but KOB found a $300,000 discrepancy in records tied to 11 elected leaders alone. The findings prove that it's nearly impossible to accurately follow the political money trail in New Mexico with confidence. Numerous legislators are now calling for reform and have drafted proposals and legislation as a result of KOB’s reporting.