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 "municipal" ...

  • Bogus Ballots

    Our investigation uncovered what one legal expert deemed “systematized voter deception” at play during the October 3, 2019 Memphis municipal elections. Within seventeen days, we brought to light a half-million dollar citywide disinformation campaign, in which more than a dozen campaigns, including the mayor’s, were involved in a pay-to-play scheme that put Republicans and Democrats alike on a widely distributed flyer posing as the local Democratic Party’s list of endorsements.
  • Best for the children

    We revealed that at least 150 children have been abused in Sweden over the last three years, despite the fact that social services knew about their situation and should have been able to help them. Almost half of the children were children already in care, therefore even more vulnerable, where the social welfare service failed to act to help them, or acted in a way that increased their suffering. There are most probably many more children that have been abused, than the 150 we were able to detect. We were only able to survey the cases known to the Health and Social Care Inspectorate. But in our review we could reveal that 50 municipalities, one in six, have never reported any mistakes on serious misconduct concerning children. This is something that experts interpret as highly unlikely and a serious sign of underreporting.
  • WSJ: When Wall Street Flips Municipal Bonds, Towns and Schools Pay the Price

    A yearlong investigation uncovered how Wall Street firms profit and local governments often lose out when they sell bonds in the municipal market. The Wall Street Journal combined sources to create an unprecedented database of municipal bond trades to show how the securities firms governments pay to sell their debt routinely underprice those bonds, unload them with very little risk, then often buy them back at higher prices. Those not bought back also run up in price as other securities firms snap them up and resell them.
  • The Virginian-Pilot: Jailed in Crisis

    In a first-of-it’s-kind investigation, the Virginian-Pilot tracked down more than 400 cases across the country in which people with mental illness died in jails, documenting the scope of a tragedy that’s been unfolding for decades: too many people are being jailed instead of treated and many are dying in horrific ways and under preventable circumstances. The series goes on to detail how so many people ended up in jails because of a lack of mental health services and how some municipalities are finding ways to get them into treatment. The investigation prompted long-delayed action by the U.S. Justice Department to address the conditions for people with mental illness in the Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Portsmouth, Virginia.
  • Rental Inspections

    Student rental housing being the chief industry of our small college town of Frostburg, Md., student reporter Brad Kroner worked for months to obtain city inspection data of rental units. The information finally provided showed 75 percent of rental units had not been inspected in the past three years, as required by municipal code, including many units owned by the mayor. Embarrassed by the published story that resulted, City Hall quickly released an updated set of data – which still showed the city was far from compliant – and said the first set was incomplete because its beleaguered staff had to compile the data from scratch. In other words, the city did not even have the data to know whether it was compliant, until an undergraduate filed a Maryland Public Information Act request asking for it.
  • The Impact After the CHA Plan for Transformation

    Data from U.S. Housing & Urban Development, the Chicago Housing Authority and the U.S. Census Bureau was analyzed by census tract in the city of Chicago and by municipality in the six-county suburban area for the years 2000 and 2015. In 1999, Mayor Richard M. Daley boldly promised to transform public housing in Chicago — in part by tearing down the high-rise housing projects that lined the city’s expressways and surrounded the Loop. Today, nearly every Chicago neighborhood — and almost every suburb — has felt the impact of the Chicago Housing Authority’s “Plan for Transformation,” a Better Government Association and Chicago Sun-Times analysis has found. https://cst.carto.com/viz/2a5170a2-2ec4-11e6-93e7-0ecd1babdde5/public_map https://cst.carto.com/viz/c1072cca-3438-11e6-bce7-0e31c9be1b51/public_map
  • Criminalizing Kids

    With disturbing national data findings, our multiplatform “Criminalizing Kids” report revealed that Virginia leads the nation in sending students into the criminal justice system for misbehavior as insignificant as kicking a trash can—and as trumped up as a 12-year-old accused of obstruction of justice. Our multiple follow stories revealed more examples of how disabled and black students are arrested in disproportionate numbers, and how Virginia’s governor and local cities reacted to our findings by instituting reforms. Our second in-depth investigation, “An Epidemic of Questionable Arrests,” took us in partnership with KQED public radio to San Bernardino, Calif., where harsh policies have led to deputies hogtying and arresting a Down syndrome student; an officer beating a student who hugged his girlfriend; and school police in one medium-sized district arresting more kids annually than municipal cops arrest in some of California’s biggest cities. http://www.publicintegrity.org/2015/04/10/17074/state-state-look-students-referred-law-enforcement
  • Citation Nation

    In our investigation Citation Nation, we exposed Colorado municipalities aggressively ticketing drivers for financial gain and for survival. In Campo, Colorado we uncovered traffic tickets and court fees bringing in 93% of the town’s revenue. The state average is approximately 4%, based on our extensive analysis of 270 budget reports from every single recognized town and city throughout the state. [https://vimeo.com/150724208] [https://vimeo.com/131464361]
  • 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.
  • 5 years later, city fails diversity vow

    The focus of this project was the level of diversity within the municipality of Norwich, Conn., and whether the racial diversity of employees in city departments reflected the community at large. The stories reflected the findings in three areas: municipal, employees, police department employees, and school district employees.