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 "licensing" ...

  • The God Loophole

    At least 16 states exempt religious daycares from standard licensing rules. In six states, the exemptions are so broad that even the most basic rules are lifted – such as bans on beating kids, how many workers must be hired to watch children and whether they need to be trained in CPR. The results can be tragic.
  • Imposter Nurses

    A months-long I-Team 8 investigation uncovered serious problems with Indiana's professional licensing system. Their stories exposed a system filled with weak internal controls and lax security that allowed for nurses' identities to be stolen. Through a series of open records requests, interviews with victims and old-fashioned gumshoe reporting, this investigative series exposed impostor nurses and questioned state officials. It also prompted the state to make sweeping changes to its online licensing system, which now provides increased security measures to more than 100,000 nurses in Indiana along with 30+ other professions overseen by the agency.
  • Dollars for Docs

    ProPublica first published Dollars for Docs, our comprehensive database of payments to doctors made by pharmaceutical companies for speaking, consulting, etc., in 2010. Millions of people have looked up their doctors, and hundreds of news organizations have used the data to tell important investigative stories. But it was only this year that, thanks to some painstaking work, we were able to match pharmaceutical payments with prescribing habits. And our findings were dispositive: Doctors who take payments tend to prescribe more brand-name drugs. Moreover, thousands of doctors who have had disciplinary actions against them by their state licensing boards are still getting pharma payments, and a greater share of physicians who work at for-profit hospitals take payments compared to those working at nonprofit or government facilities. https://projects.propublica.org/docdollars/ https://projects.propublica.org/graphics/d4d-hospital-lookup
  • Trail of Troubles

    One doctor’s sexual assault charges led reporter Scott Dance to uncover the state’s lack of oversight of the criminal backgrounds of Maryland’s doctors. Maryland does not conduct criminal background checks of its doctors despite at least one attempt to require them. Dr. William Dando was one doctor who fell through the cracks. He was convicted of rape in the 1980s, and came to Maryland to pursue his medical career after his release. Fast forward to 2014, and the same doctor was accused of sexually assaulting several patients. Dance traced Dando’s time in Maryland and all of the ways his past could have been discovered, but state regulatory agencies and medical boards failed to investigate. After Dance’s articles appeared, Dando agreed to give up his license so that Maryland charges would be dropped, an inspector general highlighted flaws in licensing procedures,and the Maryland Board of Physicians proposed legislation to require background checks.
  • Doctors in Georgia

    The citizens of Georgia are largely dependent on the state's medical board to protect them from incompetent or unscrupulous. These stories revealed that the board has failed to carry out that mission - by licensing doctors that other states considered untouchable, leaving patients in the dark about key issues such as the true nature of disciplinary actions and funneling some of the worst physicians into the state prison system.
  • Fictitious Driver Licenses Revealed

    For decades, police officers in the state of Washington have been able to obtain false driver licenses for undercover work. But this quasi-secret program inside the state Department of Licensing was never authorized by the legislature. Even the state’s governor was unaware. Not only that. It turns out the biggest recipient of these licenses wasn’t undercover police for the state of Washington. It was the CIA. Our coverage began with an initial feature on the program. But that lead to several spot news development and then longer features on the revelations that we uncovered.
  • The Hansen Files: Daycare Criminals

    Childcare advocates claim that inadequate state laws have made it easy for people with criminal convictions to get licensed to care for children—often with deadly consequences. Their evidence was often anecdotal--ripped from headlines of children dying in the care of someone whose past wasn't revealed until after the child had been harmed. When we looked into the problem we soon discovered that even when a criminal history disqualifies a potential candidate from childcare, states often grant licenses nonetheless. Parents not only aren’t informed of this, but some states actively conceal this information. And we found there are no existing databases that report caregivers’ criminal records or the results of background checks, so we set out to compile our own. The creation of that database then led us to an extensive, year-long data search in five states, from original arrest reports and police narratives to jail records, court records, state licensing files, exemption reports, inspection records and more. These records helped us unravel the many ways people with criminal records were able to get licensed. We then visited several centers and conducted an experiment in one state, submitting applications for childcare background checks for three women--all of them convicted murderers.
  • No Worker Left Behind

    Michigan's No Worker Left Behind program faced funding cuts in 2010. A large proportion of the funds for the program were going to private trade schools, however, no state agency was licensing or inspecting these schools.
  • "No Reciprocity: Canadian Hit and Run"

    In Everett, a vehicle with British Columbia plates struck a young boy and fled the scene, driving across the border back into Canada. Upon realizing the driver was Canadian, U.S. investigators dropped the case and did not ticket the man. An investigation by KIRO-TV finds that it is common for tickets issued to B.C. residents to remain unpaid without consequence because of the lack of a "reciprocity agreement" between Washington and British Columbia.
  • Houston Texas Bus Safety

    This story looks at two bus crashes in Texas to determine how companies are regulated. It also looks at how Houston operators who cater to Hispanic, working-class passengers are allowed to operate, some illegally, despite poor safety records and questionable licensing.