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 "new jersey" ...

  • The Force Report

    A 16-month investigation by NJ Advance Media that found New Jersey's system for tracking police force is broken, with no statewide collection or analysis of data, little oversight by state officials and no standard practices among local departments. Two decades ago, officials envisioned a centralized database that would flag dangerous cops, preventing unnecessary injuries and costly excessive force lawsuits. But that database was never created. So we built it.
  • New Jersey’s Student Loan Program is ‘State-Sanctioned Loan-Sharking’

    New Jersey’s student loan agency, the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, has some of the most aggressive collection tactics in the industry with few reprieves, even for borrowers who’ve died. ProPublica’s series lays out how HESAA’s loans have unraveled lives – sending many families into financial ruin – to the point they’ve been described as “state-sanctioned loan-sharking.”
  • The Property Tax Crisis

    An examination of the regressive property tax system in New Jersey, which has more in common with feudal states than the United States. Our examination shows how it is the wellspring of the state’s myriad problems, from government corruption to a stalled economy to the highest-in-the-nation debt. The series sparked a public outcry for reform, with more than 14,000 signing our petition for change, and pledges from half the Assembly members to address the issue. http://php.app.com/taxpain/
  • Dangerous Dollar Jitneys

    After scores of complaints, safety violations and a crash that killed an infant, WPIX went undercover and caught “dollar jitney” drivers committing dangerous acts behind the wheel: texting and talking on cell phones, illegally passing and speeding - endangering New York and New Jersey motorists, pedestrians and passengers. http://pix11.com/2015/11/20/pix11-investigation-exposes-dangerous-dollar-jitneys-traveling-ny-nj-roadways/ http://pix11.com/2015/11/23/pix11-investigation-sparks-police-probe-into-jitney-drivers-using-phones-behind-the-wheel/
  • Bridgegate Fall Guy Was Inside Man

    The story "Bridgegate Fall Guy Was Inside Man" was selected from two years' worth of coverage by Andrea Bernstein and Matt Katz of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's Bridgegate scandal. Over the years Bernstein and Katz broke scores of stories about the widening scandal surrounding Christie and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. This story was selected both for the formidable reporting it required, the years of detailed knowledge the reporters drew on, and because it undercut a central tenet of Christie's defense -- that the scandal was organized by rogue employees who didn't keep him in the loop. http://www.wnyc.org/story/bridgegate-fall-guy-was-inside-man/
  • Dirty Little Secrets: New Jersey’s Poorest Live Surrounded by Contamination

    WNYC found 89 percent of New Jerseyans live within a mile of a contaminated site. Most of those sites are in the process of being cleaned up, which can take years. But our investigation found 1,464 of the state’s 14,066 known contaminated sites don’t have any clean-up plan in place. Many sites have sat orphaned and polluted for years, and they are disproportionately found in low-income communities. http://www.wnyc.org/story/nj-contaminated-sites/
  • The Oil Changers

    A News 12 New Jersey investigation found mechanics, quick lubes and other oil change establishments use substandard oil that experts say could cause serious damage to cars, including engine failure. News 12 New Jersey was the first news organization in the US to report on this issue. https://youtu.be/vQtRBZwo-Dw
  • Welcome to Herointown

    The Herointown project used a combination of crowdsourcing, data crunching, data visualization and illustration to create a semi-fictional city that contained all 128,000 active heroin users in New Jersey. It was a unique means of opening up people's eyes to the breadth of the problem and showing those struggling they weren't alone. Through this narrative device, we were able to simultaneously show people the scope of the issue as well as connect them to the nuance in their own backyards.
  • Good Cop, Bad Cop

    Who sues police departments the most? Police officers. In New Jersey, millions of dollars are spent each year on legal fees and settlements for lawsuits involving police. And, while you might imagine that a small handful of bad-apple cops are behind the cases, when you start digging through the legal paperwork a strange pattern begins to emerge. While there are lots of cases where civilians sue the police, there are more lawsuits where police are the plaintiffs. Police officers are suing each other, police departments and the towns and cities they work in -- cops accusing cops of harassment, retaliation and discrimination. Between 2009 and 2012, taxpayers in New Jersey footed the bill for over $49 million in legal fees, settlements and other costs relating to lawsuits involving the police. About $19.5 million went to cases where civilians sued — and $29 million on lawsuits brought by police. But ask government officials at any level throughout the state, and you’ll find no oversight of these cases or even awareness that there’s a problem. The costs don’t come out of police budgets so departments have little incentive to intervene and because the bills are often paid directly by insurance carriers, even the municipalities that pay the premiums aren’t paying attention. No one in the government is tracking the costs and in the meantime the bills continue to add up. And it’s not just the costs, experts says the cases should be tracked so that the data could be used as an early warning system to identify problem officers, but instead the data is being systematically ignored.
  • Public Money, Private Profits

    David Sirota's run of coverage in the International Business Times lays bare how hedge funds, private equity investors and other professional money managers have penetrated an enormous and lucrative frontier – the roughly $3 trillion worth of public pension systems run by cities and states. The deal-making that has delivered this state of affairs has been laced with conflicts of interest and ethics breaches. Sirota produced a blockbuster scoop showing how the head of New Jersey’s pension system, the former private equity executive Robert Grady, had been in direct contact with top political staff working for the reelection of Gov. Chris Christie just as major campaign contributions were pouring into Christie’s coffers from financial services companies with contracts to manage state pension funds – an apparent violation of state and federal pay-to-play laws.