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 "perks" ...

  • The Swoosh Effect

    Our investigation exposed the insidious role of sneaker money in amateur basketball, offering new and damning examples of how companies such as Nike corrupt youth sports. Our reporting found that: Nike helped the family of Marvin Bagley III, a top-ranked recruit, move from bankruptcy into a gated community; Nike offered special perks to the star of its Portland grassroots team; Nike strategically offered apparel contracts to nearly all big Oregon high schools, costing the company $1 million annually; and the NCAA weakened rules for tracking shoe money in order to minimize transparency.
  • Public Salary project

    This entry consists of stories culled from a massive request for government compensation from hundreds of government agencies, cities, counties, school, college and special districts. This projects follows the money. The data is made public through data bases on our web sites and culled through by investigative reporter Thomas Peele, who roots out stories from deep in the data, including ones about secret pension boosting perks, officials paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for not working, government managers sitting on huge banks of unused vacation time to cash in at retirement, part-time elected officials who do little work while being paid hundreds of dollars and an hour, long forgotten politicians receiving free life-time government health insurance decades are leaving office. The project routinely ferrets out information about the spending of public money that not even those in charge of government agencies are aware of until Peele tells them: "Wow,” said James Fang, a member of the board of the BART transit district when informed data showed the agencies former general manager, who had resigned two years earlier in the midst if being fired, had remained in the agency's payroll for years, raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars and jacking up her future pension. “She was still on the payroll? I did not know this. It’s startling.”
  • Checks Without Balances: Big Pay in Tough Times

    This is a three-part series and continuing coverage based off of hundreds of thousands of pay records for state and local employees that found outsized pay and perks in lesser known agencies, pension spiking by community college presidents and five-figure bonus deals for some officials that had been done without the knowledge of elected boards.
  • NC superintendents’ contracts packed with perks

    I requested the contracts of all 115 public school superintendents in North Carolina and found that their six-figure salaries aren’t the only way they are compensated. Many receive thousands of dollars in bonuses each year, and some get special perks, such as cars, gym memberships, money for mortgage payments and extra vacation time. The contracts also revealed the lengths school boards were willing to go to get or keep a superintendent, including one school system that agreed to provide its new leader with a house and install a nearly $4,300 fence for her dogs – paid for with taxpayer money.
  • Leadership problems at Florida State College at Jacksonville

    What started as a look at problems in the financial aid department led to a widespread review of college operational issues and spending that angered taxpayers and frustrated students. Through several months of reviewing records and rooting out sources, we found that the college had almost no controls on the president's spending and the board offered little oversight. We learned that this was common throughout the state after we reviewed all presidential contracts in Florida - and found lots of big-money perks. Our stories prompted two consulting reviews by the college and two statewide investigations, one from the inspector general into the president's spending and a second from the Florida College System into FSCJ's finances. The president and two other top-level leaders left the college, and reforms are expected from the Legislature this year.
  • Green Inc., Environmentalism for Profit

    With the groundbreaking series Green Inc., USA Today for the first time uncovers the truth behind the soaring movement toward constructing buildings that are certified as environmentally friendly. The series shows how "green" buildings often are barely different from their supposedly conventional counterparts -- except that green-building designers and owners often win huge tax breaks, zoning waivers and other valuable perks from government agencies. The series involves an unprecedented analysis of records for 7,100 green-certified buildings to show how the designers follow the easiest and cheapest steps to get certified. Numerous freedom-of-information requests revealed the enormous tax breaks awards to the building designers and owners, and also show how some buildings are falling far short of their environmental promise.
  • Connecticut Superintendents

    Viktoria Sundqvist, investigations editor at The Middletown Press, submitted FOI requests for all school superintendent contracts in Connecticut and gathered these contracts into a searchable database. The contracts were analyzed and salaries, mileage, vacation days and other perks were analyzed and made available to the public, in addition to links to the contracts.
  • C-HIT: Pharma Perks

    The Affordable Care Act requires pharmaceutical companies to publicly report all payments to physicians by September 2013. Some drug companies have already compiled, but few consumers know that the information is available or how to access it. What this story did is disclose for the first time for CT consumers: 1) how many doctors in Connecticut are high-prescribers of certain psychotropic and pain medications, (108) 2) the cost of written prescriptions (hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases) 3) how many of these doctors received payments from drug companies (at least 43) 4) and the amounts that the doctors received from the drug companies ($30,000 - $99,000) It also reported that only 3 doctors on the high-prescribing drug list have been disciplined by the state Medical Examining Board.
  • Public Pension Perks

    The series details how state elected officials nationwide have passed obscure laws to inflate the pensions paid to special groups of workers and to themselves.
  • Landing Electrolux

    When Swedish company Electrolux announced plans to build a kitchen appliance factory in Memphis, many in the region hailed it as an economic development triumph. But it didn't come cheap. Government officials approved a massive package of money and perks for a company that has a history of leaving communities to cut costs and has made no guarantee to stay in Memphis for the long term. Officials performed minimal due diligence and signed away rights to recover most of the money if the company falls short of job-creation goals.